Depressed about having memory loss? Blame Apple. That’s the gist of new scientific evidence that says over-use of today’s technology can harm our brains.
Say what? When you think about it, modern technology could be rotting our brains the way the automobile industry has destroyed humanity’s ability to travel anywhere on foot. People who have to walk everywhere often are healthier (because they exercise more) so those who do not use modern computing devices and rely more on their brains are smarter (not sure how that explains elected officials who don’t seem to know about modern technology, amirite?) than the rest of us.
Push Neurons, Not Buttons
Here’s the deal. Everyone understands the ‘use it or lose it’ rule of life, right? If we don’t use our muscles, they don’t work as well. Likewise, if we don’t use our brains– ostensibly because we have devices that do such work for us– then we’ll lose the capacity to think as well.
Anyway, that’s the way some researchers put it after scanning volunteer’s brains as they navigated through a large metropolitan city. Those parts of our brains that recognize and remember locations, and that help us navigate from here to there, don’t get used as much if we rely upon smartphone maps or car navigation systems.
Duh. Use an iPhone and the Maps app instead of relying upon your brain to get you lost means parts of your brain don’t get used, therefore, ipso facto, Voila! Use it or lose it.
That implies that using our smartphones and notebooks instead of trying to figure out things all by our lonesome causes creeping brain rot which will become more evident as we age. We’re not thinking like we used to because we just need to tap, tap, tap to get answers, which means less thinking, which means down the road, you know, brain rot.
Researchers claim that’s why taxi driver’s brains actually grow while they’re driving, but shrink somewhat after they retire (I wonder if they take a bath more frequently after they retire). Physical map readers have brains with more activity than those who use navigation devices that use GPS. And, based on that, some researchers claim we’ll see more dementia later in life because our brains are not being challenged enough.
Other research claims that habitual technology users are altering the shape and function of their brains, and not always in a good way. Watch TV and check the world through your iPhone or iPad at the same time and you’re more likely to be depressed and have an emotional problem. Just knowing that is depressing. I bought Apple stock when it was low. Now it’s high. Now what? I’m so depressed.
How can we overcome the obvious problems caused by modern technology? Researchers say simply, ‘Turn it off.’ That single action will help us think more, interact with each other more, and supposedly improve our lives. And look how well we did before smartphones and tablets came along.
That’s all well and good, but it’s a well known fact that most elected officials, particularly at the national level, have little understanding of modern technology, and most use a smartphone merely to make calls to constituents to ask for more donations. So, look what not using modern technology has done for governing the country.