Nicholas Carr: The Internet is Hurting Our Brains

I read an article by Bill Snyder “Nicholas Carr: The Internet is Hurting Our Brains.” The article is discussing the idea Nicholas Carr wrote about in his book “Is Google Making Us Stupid.” The concept is that we are highly distracted on-line jumping around from site to site and this is causing us to lose the ability to focus. I am not sure this is isolated to Google either as it seems to me we are generally in a more interrupt driven society. If you are not running from meeting to meeting, reading through emails and then on the phone pretty much the entire day then what are you doing?

I do find the time to think, read entire articles and write this blog. At the same time I often feel highly distracted and this creates a sense of anxiousness. I often arrive at the end of the day feeling somewhat apprehensive. 5:30 rolls around and I am thinking, “I can’t go home for another couple of hours because I just need to accomplish more to have a productive day.”

Clearly there are plenty of distractions and challenges to staying focused on accomplishing tasks. Is this actually damaging our brains? Maybe it is damaging… and besides it is not great being distracted. So how do you combat this? Here are a few ways to attack this:

1. Schedule time to work on items and do not look at email or take calls.
2. Read emails only once and either take action, delete, file or move to an action folder.
3. Designate a certain amount of time for reading online articles.
4. Participate in activities that do not involve technology – leave the mobile phone behind.
5. Take vacation and don’t check email for a few entire days.

Ok, enough – This is not actually brain surgery. It is an important point and it really goes back to life balance. In this case it is a technology and technology free balance. Nothing really changes – Use to be we worried about the TV frying our brains and now it is the internet!

On that note, I am ready for some technology free summer vacation.

Article in CIO Magazine by Bill Snyder “Nicholas Carr: The Internet is Hurting Our Brains”:

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