Is the internet changing your brain? (squirrel!)
Do you spend a lot of time online or looking at your phone? If you do, this is for you.
And even if you don’t, if your kids or loved ones spend a lot of time on the internet, this is important for them, also.
A group of scientists from around the globe just released the results of a study on how the internet is affecting our brain… and there’s a TON of info in it about how it is impacting our thinking both over the short- and long-term.
Now, obviously they still have a lot to learn about this, but here’s one thing that really stuck out from the results.
Have you ever spent some time online and then notice that your ability to focus on JUST ONE THING for more than 30-60 seconds is a lot lower?
Like checking emails and then popping over to another tab to check your Facebook. Or having a conversation with someone in your house, but picking up your phone to check your notifications while you’re mid conversation?
You are NOT alone. In fact, this was one of the findings of the study!
One of the scientists working on the study said in a press release: “The limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the Internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention — which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task.”
Some people find that to be incredibly scary! Focus is SO IMPORTANT for so many things – including learning new things and keeping our brain healthy as we age!
The thing is, you have a lot of control over this, more than you might think. Which leads to a challenge for you…
It’s all about working on (re)developing your focus … away from your computer and phone. And even away from your watch, if you have one that sends you notifications and alerts!
All you have to do is set a timer (preferably one that isn’t on your phone/watch) and focus on doing something (ANYTHING!) for 15 easy minutes. Shut off all your devices, put them in a drawer in another room, and walk away.
You can read, do chores, sit quietly in a room, go for a walk, get crafty … basically, do ANYTHING!
Try it, and see if you find yourself reaching for your phone, diverting your attention to another task, or feeling fidgety or frustrated and a little “lost.”
Over time, you can start to increase the amount of “focused” time. At first, unplugging can be hard but once you get used to the feeling of being “unplugged,” you will find it incredibly liberating and relaxing!
Some people find that spending an entire day or weekend “unplugged” makes a big difference for their levels of stress and also their ability to concentrate.
Give the 15-minute challenge a try and see how it goes!