Think Technology Hasn’t Affected Our Brains? Think Again.

Technology is omnipresent – our society is constantly browsing the web, texting on our smartphones or glued to the television. And if you think that this constant devouring of technology hasn’t changed the way our brains operate, studies will prove you otherwise. While many experts have differing opinions on what technology has done to our brains, Mashable has compiled a list of 8 Ways Technology Has Completely Rewired Our Brains. Here it is…

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1. We Dream in Color.

A 2008, a study conducted at Scotland’s Dundee University showed that adults over the age of 55 who grew up in a household with a black and white TV tend to dream in black and white. Meanwhile, younger participants in the study, who grew up with colored televisions, tend to dream in color.

2. We Experience FOMO…

As a result of constant updates from social media sources, we experience this “fear of missing out” when we are not a part of the social activities lighting up our webpages. We worry that our lives aren’t quite as cool as the people’s around us, and we felt anxious and inadequate as a result.

3. …And “Phantom Vibration Syndrome.”

A 2012 study proved that 89% of 290 undergraduates report feeling “phantom vibrations,” the physical sensation that their phone is vibrating, even when it wasn’t. Something in us assumes that we must constantly be connected and communicating with those around us. Crazy.

4. We Can’t Sleep.

Many of us get in bed, and immediately play on our phones or tablets, or watch some TV, in an effort to fall asleep. Turns out, though, that this sleeping strategy may actually harm our sleeping patterns. According to neuroscientists, the light emitted by these screens affects our body’s internal light cues and sleep-inducing hormones. These lights may make our bodies feel as if it is still daytime, which can wreak havoc on our body’s internal sleep clock, making it much harder for us to fall asleep.

5. Our Memory Isn’t Great, And Neither is Our Attention Span.

With information available to us at the click of a button (thanks Google), people no longer feel the need to memorize facts, because, what’s the point? We rely on social media to remember a friend’s birthday, we use calculators for the simplest of math and we wouldn’t be able to get around town without our GPS.

In addition, the Internet has shortened our attention span. We feel antsy when we are forced to sit down and focus on reading a book, and we tend to only skim articles because they are simply “too long.” This is problem, particularly for the youth of the world, who may never develop serious concentration skills.

6. We Have Better Visual Skills…

A 2013 study showed that first-person shooter video games, like Halo or Call of Duty, have the ability to improve the player’s decision-making and visual cues because they force the play to react quickly to visual cues. According to the same study, gamers are also better able to detect contrast between objects in dim environments. In addition, strategy-based games like Starcraft have been shown to boost the brain’s “cognitive flexibility,” or the ability to multitask.

7. …But Poorer Impulse Control.

However, the same study found that games like Halo can prevent players from being able to tame their aggressive and impulsive behavior, because they can force players to make rash decisions without evaluating the situation first. Meaning, these players are prone to react immediately, with a great deal of hostility, in real-life situations.

8. We Create More.

On a positive note, technology has enabled both artists and non-artists to connect and engage with creative media. Because social media promotes a culture of sharing, we all desire to share something creative of our own, possibly some great edited photos or a DIY craft we created. We desire to contribute to the world and engage with those around us in our creations.

So, what do you think? Do you agree that technology has changed the way your brain is wired?

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