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E-thinking has moved us into habits of grabbing our phones to answer the simplest of questions: finding the map directions to a known address, or calculating the square root of four.
While the verdict is still out if the internet is rewiring and/or dumbing us down, we should consider to what degree the internet is changing how we think.
Attention is selecting which elements you look at, interact with, and remember. Attention can get tired, like a muscle.
The internet is a very powerful stimulus for attention. It offers information constantly, demanding and overloading a system that was designed to function in the low to medium social networks of the natural world.
Trying to protect oneself from boredom and the fear of missing out (FOMO), has caused people to switch from tab to tab, or screen to screen on the desktop.
People switch between content on computers every 19 seconds, viewing the content for less than a minute. Multitasking this way breaks concentration. You lose time with this and context-switching and deplete your available mental energy.
This is not a fight against the internet, but a fight against a society that is obsessed with speed and productivity made possible by the internet. You can practice resistance.
Your brain network, associated with creativity and imagination, becomes active when your task-oriented networks are shut off. You might become more productive as a result.
Your memory comes in a variety of subtypes:
Storing information, when it is filed in transactive memory, makes it disastrous for remembering later. You may have a disjointed set of thoughts that you have trouble remembering and using.
Our brains are organized through networks of related concepts, stories, or the overall perception of a topic. When you learn a new fact, it gets embedded in a nest of everything else you know. The tighter the connections, the better you will remember and recall the information.
If you want to remember facts better, create a little contextual nest for your new fact to live in: Read some background. Consider what you've just read. Think about the terms you already know. Write it down or draw little images.
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