The Cost of Wasted Attention and “Being Always On”

The Cost of Wasted Attention and “Being Always On”

You may have read my most recent article and thought to yourself “Keener is an old man that just can’t keep up with today’s pace of information flow.”

Yes, I am an old man by some standards, but I can assure you that my distaste for being “always on” is not because of my age. For example, this article in the New Scientist talks about research that has determined that being “always connected” drops your IQ about 10 points. It has the same deleterious effect on IQ as losing a night’s sleep or smoking marijuana.

Our brains are limited in the amount of attention they can give each day. Each thought burns glucose, so spending too much time on Twitter burns up brain energy that could be applied to something more important.

Spend your day being “totally connected” and you could find that your brain doesn’t have the ability to solve a problem that arises for you in the evening.

It is sort of ironic that the technology that is supposed to be helping us is probably wasting more brain power than it is saving.

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