‘Ever wonder what technology is doing to your brain?’
This is the question the Star Tribune asked its readers back on March 9th. Things that make you say ‘Hmmmm?!’ If you’re like most these days, you spend a good portion of your day wondering if you have Adult ADHD. OR… are you victim of technology induced rabbit holes?
Writing consultant, award-winning author and columnist, Stephen Wilbers shared a perfect real-life example:
I was walking for coffee on a minus-11-degree morning when I felt my cell phone vibrate in my pocket. I pulled off my outer mitten, dug out my phone and saw a text from my wife, who was out running errands.
“We’ll host dinner for our group before the Guthrie on Saturday.”
Annoyed with myself for not having worn my thing texting gloved under my mittens, I used my teeth to yank off my inner glove. I tapped the microphone icon with my bare finger and dictated a response. I could have waited until i was comfortably settled at the warm table inside the coffee shop, but i have in to an odd impulse to respond immediately.
“K period,” I said in a loud voice. “On my way to Sovereign Grounds period,” which appeared on my screen as “K. On my way to solving grounds.” Then I said, “Meet me there for coffee question mark.”
My fingers were freezing, so I didn’t bother changing “solving grounds” to “Sovereign Grounds,” the name of the coffee shop where I was heading. My wife would know what I meant.
Too late, I noticed I was only one of several recipients. Before I could decide whether to send a clarification, my phone vibrated in my hand.
“Sounds great,” one of our friends had texted. “I hope you find a solution.”
I sound like a dope, I thought, so I tapped the microphone icon again and said, “Sorry, I’m meeting Debbie for coffee at,” and then with numb fingers I typed “Soverign Gounds.”
I was about to correct the misspelling of “Soverign” to “Sovereign” when my trembling index finger hovered too close to the send icon and off went my unfinished message to its multiple recipients. If I had waited two minutes and responded from the coffee shop…
We’ve all been there. The room is a bit too dark and you can’t remember where you left your glasses but you respond anyway.
Wilbers also identifies changes in our students. In the past 20 years there seems to be a shift in how our youth formulate a thought.
‘When I went to high school, we learned linear thinking, to link one thought to the next and to develop our arguments logically. But that’s not how computers encourage us to work. they invite us to think by association.’
As I sipped my coffee at Sovereign Grounds, my brain flitted from one thought to another. I thought about skiing the Birkie trail, where i had seen the Edina High School Nordic ski team, which has more then 190 team members this year. I like their coach, Andy Turnbull, whom I know from Hoigaard’s – he sells me replacement poles on a somewhat regular basis and once old me, ‘Steve, when you fall, protect your equipment; your body will heal’ – actually, I’m not certain he’s the one who said that, but it sounds like something one Nordic skier would say to another. And then my phone vibrated.
• Take time to think; begin and end each day with a few moments of quiet reflection.
• Be aware of what’s going on around you (especially when you’re driving).
• Close your mail server when working on important projects.
• Silence unnecessary alerts.
• Don’t check Facebook or go browsing until you’ve accomplished or at least started working on your main task of the day.
• Complete one task before starting another.
• Talk; don’t write.
• Sort your messages by importance; respond to important ones first, and then deal with or delete less important ones.
• Give your family, friends and colleagues your undivided attention.
• If you must take a call when you’re with other people, don’t just start talking; say “Excuse me.”
• When you dine out, have everyone in your group put their phones in the middle of the table. The first person who touches a phone pays the bill.
• Leave your phone at home when you go for a walk.
• Go on real vacations; take time away from work without checking in.
In short, don’t let technology hijack your life.
MVTV Wireless cares about our members and followers. Technology has added so much to our lives. Just don’t let it get in the way of life.MVTV Wireless ‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’ FaceBook