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Continuous Partial Attention Phenomena

Computer vs. Brain Balance

Marion Richmond posted a comment to my post that “technology fries your brain worse than pot”. Marion hails from the resident Resonance Partnership blog she noted a NY Times (registration required) called “Meet the Life Hackers.” The just of the article is that email is both a help and a hindrance.  For as much a benefit as it provides, it can also operate as a distraction. Clive Thompson, contributing writer for the magazine,  has this interesting quote,
         “For a small cadre of computer engineers and academics, this realization has begun to raise an enticing    possibility: perhaps we can find an ideal middle ground. If high-tech work distractions are inevitable, then maybe we can re-engineer them so we receive all of their benefits but few of their downsides. Is there such a thing as a perfect interruption?”
I agree that it is critical for us to find a balance between the benefits and burdens of technology. There is no question that technology can fry your brain, that it can become addictive just like anything else. In my office, I try to balance my time between my computer cart and other areas of my office where I do productive work. If I feel myself getting sucked into my computer, I try to get up and do other necessary work which requires walking around. This breaks me from the spell that technology can put me under and helps to ensure that I am focusing on many tasks, as opposed to just one.



What would you say about the lives of people depending on computers more to do their critical thinking rather than using their brains?

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