It’s a fast paced world we live and work in nowadays. We are constantly berated by information and data points that warrant our interest and demand our attention. Two recent reports by NPR and the New York Times looked at the issue of endless access to technology and the impact it has on our brains according to recent research.
Nicholas Carr, whose book The Shallows is the subject of the NPR story, began to take a hard look at his own inability to concentrate when he realized that the more online time he spent, the more difficulty he had in reading a long article or sitting for a good long while with a book. The work that started as an article in the Atlantic, Is Google Making Us Stupid?, has now become The Shallows, where Carr investigates what the internet is doing to our brains.
“…Carr argues that even if people get better at hopping from page to page [on the internet], they will still be losing their abilities to employ a ‘slower, more contemplative mode of thought.’ He says research shows that as people get better at multitasking, they ‘become less creative in their thinking.’”
It is just this ‘slower mode of thought’ where the most creative thinking occurs.
In the New York Times, Matt Richtel’s article, Your Brain On Computers: Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price, follows the Campbell family as they try to keep up with everything technology has to offer without losing themselves in the process.
Both articles speak to what’s great about technology as well as what can be problematic. In this day and age, someone with the right set up of wireless internet access and personal computer options can work just about anywhere. No longer are we chained to our desks and telephones during business hours in order to get work done. In fact, there are no more business hours. Every hour is business hour. And that’s the rub. While technology enables us the freedom to use our time how we may want to, many people find it hard to turn off the computer and smart phones for fear of missing something. In this heightened state of waiting, we are actually missing the chance for our brains to slip back into a more relaxed state where new ideas can be sown and come to fruition.
Obviously we here at Drawing Down the Vision love a good dose of technology. Here I sit at my studio computer writing this blog post. Our access to ever evolving technology and communication options is how our message will ultimately reach the masses. But we know that in order to center in what will become the next piece of compelling art work or lucrative business idea, we need to unplug and get our pens to paper in our sketchbooks. By balancing what the modern world has to offer with what creativity needs to flourish, we can ensure that technology will be a tool that we use in our work versus something that changes the way our brains work.
So slow down a little, turn your gadgets off for a few hours. And draw…
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