between emails, alerts, tweets, constant checking for threads, alerts etc. we are well into the era of perpetual distraction.
in exchange for the richness of internet, we are renouncing to our good old way of linear thinking. we’re not growing emotional intelligence nor is our intellect expanding from reading great books, and we certainly cannot spell what with spellcheck doing the job for us. so are we really smart?
Nicholas Carr, essayist, says “in our hyper connected universe the erudite today clearly has less usefulness than the creative” [my translation].
but, the most worrisome of this ‘internetting’ habit is what Etienne Koechlin, neurobiologist says: “in all this, my greatest fear is that it affects our capacity to concentrate. especially our young ‘uns!”
if you’ve been reading new york times recently you will understand what he means: ADHD has become such a huge problem in US kids that doctors are administering pills to calm kids, which do more harm than good, but are running short on supplies. they’re not advising kids and their parents to read good ole fashion books or do other kid activities. the ADHD drugs are in short supply because middle and high schoolers are taking them to stay up and study all night to get good grades and enter competitive schools. the ADHD pills make you look smart enough to pass an exam, but what about the long run?
could the internet be then just another symptom of ADHD, but for grown ups [and kids , too]?
i see university students these days with their iphones right next to them where their text is. they’re doing group work, but eyes on iPhone. not on text. half the time they don’t know what is going on in the classroom because they’re glued to FB, and other alerts.
small wonder – for those of us who can afford it – yoga and meditation are a la mode. yoga and meditation are ways of being which occur naturally for the east and other parts of the world not centered on internet, but on human network and connection.
do these short spurts of ‘meditative & yogic devices’ in the US make us slow down long enough to rest our wandering, restless, affective minds? Like those ADHD pills?
apparently it is not long enough to continue the momentum of meditation, because the moment we step out of that yoga room, we grab our iphones etc to see what we’ve missed!