Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Today in News that's not News

The New York Times reports that computer use makes us dumber. Except that it's not actually the use of computers (and other electronic devices) that makes us dumb. It's excessive computer useage. The article profiles a couple who spend ridiculous amounts of time using various electronic devices, who report that their relationships and regular life activities are negatively affected by their excessive use of computers, smart phones, etc. A brain researcher warns that all the googling and gaming and emailing and texting is changing the way our brains work and making it harder for people who are "addicted" to technology to focus on things like real people, books, real life events and conversations, etc. Shocking, right? Yeahno.

It's not rocket science, and it's not a new idea. I suspect this dates back to before Aristotle's time, but since this is my area of competence, I'll just stick with Aristotle: "It is better to rise from life as from a banquet - neither thirsty nor drunken" and "excellence is found in the mean relative to us." As your mom probably told you, too much of anything can be bad for your health. Except maybe gardening. And playing with your kids.


  1. Anonymous6/09/2010

    Your post reminds me of a situation in which I found myself several years ago involving my computer. My internet connection wasn't working, rendering my computer virtually useless. That meant the cable company having to send out a technician, which wouldn't happen until the next day. When I said to the customer service rep., "What am I going to do without my computer?!" He said, "Go out and enjoy the nice weather." That statement was a serious, and much-needed, reality check for me.

    BTW: I am formerly missincognegro. :)

  2. Aha. I wondered where you went. Welcome back!

  3. Anonymous6/09/2010

    Yeah, I read that article, and the guy goes to sleep with his laptop on his chest so he can check his email immediately in the morning. Overexposure to technology: ya think?