In the morning the alarm sounds and the ritual begins. People turn on their technology as they get ready for work. As rush hour begins, more of us are engaging in a digital symphony of sifting through content.
With the click of a mouse, individuals can obtain access to the information they want. This is the power of high-end computing which includes computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets. However, scientists are warning us of the consequences of constant web surfing.
According a recent piece in The Washington Post,scientists conclude that human beings are developing digital brains. The digital mind focuses on skimmingthrough information.
We need individuals asking probative questions and a providing context to thrive in the workplace. Unfortunately, our culture is now dominated by nonstop cable TV news that gives sound bites and snapshots. Also, we are also spending an average of five hours per day online according to eMarketer.
The good news is the brain is adapting to the barrage of social media, e-mails and text messages. The bad news is that comprehension and reading are adversely affected by all of this. Our minds are developing short cuts to process all of this information.
There is nothing wrong with finding an efficient way to manage your information. Sometimes a quick scan regarding “latest and greatest” on Facebook is the only sensible way. Television alone has reduced our collective attention spans. Some teachers are complaining that students are struggling through the classics. How can civilization survive when we cannot grasp Shakespeare’s verses and Austen’s sentences?
There is a difference between online and print reading. Based on some initial studies, researchers conclude that comprehension seems better with paper. Specialists have expressed concerns regarding learning when the love for technology can hamper their reading. At this point, experts recommend more research regarding the differences between text and screen reading.
We cannot turn back the clock. We all love the convenience of technology and how it makes life easier. Yet, we have to take a break for the sake our of brain cells. Life demands constant adaptation and learning. This happens when our minds can deal with the details.
Is there a fine line between normality and the straight jacket? The line is blurring. If life is about survival of the fittest, I am toast. At this point, I am unsure if I can last seven seconds in the Serengeti.
We are all just finding our way in the food chain. Lately, I feel more combustible with each commute. After work, my brains cells are turning into peanut butter. My knees are…
As a single mother living in Greensboro North Carolina, Laura Hundley enjoyed sending her son Cannon to private school. Due to the financial costs of the school and separating from her husband, she had to withdraw Cannon from the school he loved.
According to Laura, her son Cannon blossomed in Wesleyan Christian Academy. From Laura’s perspective, private school teachers demand respect from their…
In the society of men he was bored and not himself, with them he was cold and uncommunicative; but when he was in the company of women he felt free, and knew what to say to them and how to behave; and he was at ease with them even when he was silent. In his appearance, in his character, in his whole nature, there was something attractive and elusive which allured women and disposed them in his favor; he knew that, and some force seemed to draw him to them. Anton Chekhov.
How Americans Are Reading
There are more individuals reading a print book in the past year, even as e-reading continues its…
In Defense of Self-Expression
The day of an essayist simply expounding on something close to his heart or mind is pretty much…
Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Monsieur the Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy on whom nature had bestowed the gentlest of dispositions. His countenance express his soul. He combined solid judgement with complete openness of mind; which is the reason, I believe, that he was called Candide.–
Voltaire, Candide, or, Optimism
Monday First Sentences | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week
While I am writing, I am having garlic bread and bacon for breakfast. I just have some random thoughts and observations across the scene. This is just a personal invitation into my insanity.
There is no such thing as a”thought leader.” Despite the cogent advice from a friend, I still do not understand this phase. Aren’t there more suitable words? The world has enough experts, scribes, scholars, and commentators. Besides, thought leader sounds like an individual in charge of a cult.
I really love quiet time and spaces. There is enough noise pollution to go around for everyone.
Do you believe the children our are future? If the children are our future, we are in so much trouble. The shrinking attention spans and ever-expanding waistlines are not reassuring. What is going on with this knockout game? Are kids becoming so desensitized that they think random acts of violence are fun?
The most important three word phrase is I don’t care . What about I Love You? Sorry, no one cares about you outside of your family and friends. The world subjects people to so much crap. Some members of humanity are unworthy of your time and attention.
Speaking of my fellow members of humanity, my first impression of Washingtonians was hardly positive. Beltways maniacs seem rude and inconsiderate. When did ”excuse me” become so inconvenient when you bump into someone?
There is something I realized after the occasional person to person collusion. Commuters are checking their phones, reviewing the paper or reading a book. Sometimes, I get the loud conversations and singers practicing for their American Idol auditions. Despite this, most people are leaving me alone and minding their own business during my daily commute. What a wonderful world.
Can you smell the psychological scarring? The scent resembles bad coffee and toast. The daily grind just keeps getting better.
Does anyone have time to write letters by hand anymore? Mason Currey examines this question in The Death of Letter Writing published recently in the New York Times.
Mason expressed concerns regarding the death of the literary letter. He cites the publication of Saul Bellow’s letters in 2010 and William Styron’s last year as examples. Some critics are speculating regarding the future of such collections. At this point, no one knows if there is demand for the correspondence of writers. Is anyone waiting with batted breath regarding the e-mail collection of J. K. Rowling?
Letters are nice way of staying in touch. Also, writers use letters as an opportunity to tweak idea and to get feedback. For some writers, letter writing provides a nice transition to ease out (or into) more demanding writing. According to Mason, Ernest Hemingway turned to his letters when his fiction writing wasn’t going well. Letters (for Hemingway) offer a welcome break from what Hemingway called theawful responsibility of writing.
Ironically, I believe e-mail provides a nice pause from juggling tasks that pile upon my desks. Is e-mail truly different from the handwritten letter? Some individuals think that e-mails are a distraction. Unlike the old fashion letter, e-mails are far more active. There is a chance that users cannot put the e-mail message out of their minds. Also, what do people do when there is a pile of unanswered e-mails? We do not want to ignore or disrespect the sender. However, managing e-mail is just another task on the never-ending to do list.
What is the price for all of this progress? There is never enough time in the day. Meetings and deadlines dominate work. We make time for family and friends. After this, we go home and start this vicious cycle all over again.
There is no bigger fan of e-mail and social media than yours truly. I use such tools to stay connected . Are we really accomplishing anything with all of this connectivity? Some of us may not have the time or patience to discuss the details to important matters. Some individuals experience frustration regarding all the e-mails, text messages, voice mail and all the projects at work. The best of us are very skillful at multitasking. While for others, multitasking is making several mistakes simultaneously.
No, I do not think e-mail will mark the end of humanity. In other ways, I do believe are losing out. Sound bites have replaced a thorough discussion of important issues. There is no adequate substitution for the specifics.
Sometimes, we need enough time and space to give work and task the appropriate attention. In writing letters by hand, there are so very important takeaways. Letter writing demands focus. The handwritten letter demands you carefully build each sentence. This process allows the writer to convey something both clearly and heartfelt. Maybe we can learn something very important from this so-called archaic form of communication.