A recent NYT article presents scientific arguments for why our technology addiction is rewiring our brains and shortening our attention spans. No wonder no one wants to sit through a movie anymore.
Every new comment, email or Tweet squirts dopamine in your brain, which is actually addictive. When not plugged in, you crave the stimulation and you’re bored. You are consuming three times as much information as people did in the ’60s. That’s 12 hours of media and 40 websites a day and at work, you change windows 37 times per hour. Pfft, you’re all amateurs! (I need help.)
Neuroscience says we might not be evolved to do this. But, we adapt. While our information finding skills and visual acuity is improving, technology is dulling our focus and increasing stress. But it sure is nifty.
Film director Paul Schrader (and writer of Taxi Driver) took to Facebook to relate this to the death of the film industry:
The Death of Cinema isn’t just a matter of digitization, piracy and revenue collection. There’s something more fundamental at work. The relationship between the viewer and the viewed. Our fragmented multi-tasked media experience is rewiring our response to AV information, rewarding short term and immediate responses. This is why one finds oneself–often against one’s wishes–bored at movies and stepping out of the theater to check emails, tweets or news updates.
So, we can’t sit through a movie because we’re jonesing for that next Tweet. Then, we go out and buy giant suit pockets for our iPads giant phones or go hunting down and stabbing French guys for stabbing us on Counter-Strike. Congratulations. 200,000 years of evolution and here we are.
Whatever. Coco’s posting outtakes from Thong Thursdays. I totally just learned that on Twitter.