Having access to the internet and its petabytes of easily available information is, for many of us, a good thing. Well, with the exception of our brains, which are being constantly distracted by e-mails, instant messages and video games.
The New York Times explores the impact of a constant connection on the human brain's ability to focus, specifically on a software developer who is hyper-connected. Kord Campbell works in front of three computer monitors, one extra laptop, an iPhone and iPad, and he's a multitasker who's having a hard time keeping up. Campbell's lack of focus almost cost him a million dollars, if that helps underscore it for you.
That dripfeed of always available information is leading to "fractured thinking and lack of focus," scientists say, even after pulling oneself away from an electronic, internet connected device.
And while video games may be one of those distractions—it certainly is in Campbell's case, who "escapes into video games during tough emotional stretches"—the Times cites research from the University of Rochester that says hardcore multitaskers may benefit from playing games. They "have a very strong both rehabilitative and educational power," according to one of the university's lead researchers.
Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price [NY Times]