The 'modern technology is hurting our brain' argument is widespread but it seems so short-sighted. It's based on the idea that before digital communication technology came along, people spent their time focusing on single tasks for hours on end and were rarely distracted.
The trouble is, it's plainly rubbish, and you just have to spend time with some low tech communities to see this is the case.
...If you think twitter is an attention magnet, try living with an infant.
The difference between this, and the "oh isn't email stressful" situation, is that you can take a break from email and phone calls. You can switch everything off for an hour so you can concentrate. You can tell people you won't be available.
In other words, the ability to focus on a single task, relatively uninterrupted, is the strange anomaly in the history of our psychological development.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Vaughan at Mind Hacks has a response to one of the links I posted earlier. Some excerpts:
Posted by Will May at 4:10 PM