Your Blackberry really is a crack-berry.
That’s just one of the truths about the electronic devices we’ve grown to depend on. So here are the hard facts about our phones, and how they’re literally changing the way we think and react.
We’ll start with the crack-berry comment. In a recent study, people reported that they found it harder to resist checking their phone for a new text, or Facebook update than saying no alcohol and cigarettes! That’s because every time we get something new popping up on our phone it lights up the pleasure center of our brain, giving us a feel-good squirt of chemicals. But another reason is because it’s cheap and easy to get that brain fix.
Another fact about our e-addiction, our devices are messing with our memory. We can look up anything, anytime. We have everyone’s number on speed dial. We’ve given up trying to remember things because we don’t have to. But that fuels our addiction to our phones. And because we rely on them more than our own memory banks, it makes it harder to recall things that AREN’T on our phones.
The last hard truth about our phones: Those short texts and tweets we send are shortening our attention spans. But it goes the other way too. The reason most phones can only send 160 characters is because the inventor of cell-phone texting analyzed postcards and telex messages and found that most of them used 160 characters or less! But now we’ve gotten so used to sending and reading short messages that we think and speak in these short bursts too.