NYT: Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price

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This article in the NYT is one more reminder that technology changes the way we think.  Rather than simply accept all technology as morally neutral, I’d love to see youth workers do some real theological work on how students interact with technology.  As I read this article, I realized that already this morning, I’ve checked email on my iPhone (which sleeps next to me on my nightstand, by the way), read an article on George Steinbrenner, checked more than a handful of websites that I frequent for new posts, and now, entered a new post on this blog.  Scripture should lead us and inform us in how we interact with certain aspects of our culture, and technology is no different.

Mr. Nass says the Stanford studies are important because they show multitasking’s lingering effects: “The scary part for guys like Kord is, they can’t shut off their multitasking tendencies when they’re not multitasking.”

Melina Uncapher, a neurobiologist on the Stanford team, said she and other researchers were unsure whether the muddied multitaskers were simply prone to distraction and would have had trouble focusing in any era. But she added that the idea that information overload causes distraction was supported by more and more research.

A study at the University of California, Irvine, found that people interrupted by e-mail reported significantly increased stress compared with those left to focus. Stress hormones have been shown to reduce short-term memory, said Gary Small, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Hat Tip: Youthworker Journal

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