It’s what we have to do–check our email, Twitter, LinkedIn, catch that newcast and that podcast, and maintain the company blog and vlog and have a peek at that YouTube video everybody’s talking about, and check to make sure our Android hasn’t just called our Blackberry.
Sure it’s hectic but at least we’re doing stuff and learning stuff and–
The New York Times reports that we may be stopping ourselves from processing and remembering information if we don’t take some time away from constant stimulation. The article by Matt Richtel, says:
“Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
Activities like exercising, taking a walk, or waiting for a bus or train used to give us time to think about nothing in particular. Now it’s rare to see someone doing any of these without listening to music, texting, phoning, playing a game on their phone, or some combination of those.
One person they interviewed who found himself constantly checking his phone made a very astute observation. “It’s become a demand,” he said. “Not a demand of my customer, but a demand of my head.”
I think that’s a key point–we may feel that others demand that be contactable 24/7, but do they really? Or does it just make us feel more important to think so? Would we be any less successful if we just took a walk, noticed the trees and the other people passing by, or let our minds wander where they will?
I’m going to do that now–go out and look at a tree. Or at least take a picture of one with my iPhone, to look at when I have time.