The Attention Deficit Society: What Technology Is Doing to Our Brains
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 / 9:30 am - 10:45 am
, Author, "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains"
, Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University
, Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT
Put down the iPad and pay attention: Technology may be rewiring your brain. Scientists say our ability to focus is being undermined by Twitter feeds, smartphones and other digital distractions. Many experts believe excessive use of technology can make users more impatient, impulsive, forgetful and even narcissistic. It may reduce the ability to process information and think deeply and creatively. Distracted drivers have become a menace on the roads. Even worse, tech-obsessed parents spend less quality time with their children, causing not only hurt feelings but potentially stunting a child's vocabulary and development. At the same time, studies show Internet users are more efficient at finding information, and gamers develop better visual acuity. Is the technology that was intended to make us more productive actually dumbing us down? Is its use in the classroom counterproductive? How does it change our culture and society in general?