Gary Small, a neuroscientist at UCLA in California, has found through studies that Internet searching and text messaging has made the brains of “digital natives” more adept at filtering information and making decisions. The thinking part of the brain can be trained by surfing, which is scanning for the next bit of new information and then connecting the dots to get the big picture. That means that in fact surfing is not a waste of time – it makes you smarter.
The downside is that all of this surfing creates stress and can damage neural networks. I’d like to know more about that.
In addition, “digital natives” tend to neglect human contact skills which you need to read emotional expressions and body language. So more going out with friends, doing sports, making music together, having dinner with the family… (did I miss your favorite January activities?) And at work: Having a well-prepared but informal meeting where everyone is focussed on here and now… and on each other! In fact, the trend is towards the topless meeting – that’s official new-speak for a meeting without a laptop!
(Thanks Christian & Eamonn for your various tips.)