The Screen Invasion

Posted: September 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today I listened to an interesting interview with Matt Richtel, technology journalist for The New York Times, on the NPR program Fresh Air.

He coined a phrase called “screen invasion.” Any guess as to what this term refers to? If you guessed our highly over-wired digital age, you’re completely right. In the interview, Richtel mentions some interesting stats.

  • Apparently, we consume three times more information than we consumed in 1960.
  • Sitting at a desk, we can go to an average of 40 websites a day.
  • Also sitting at a desk, we can change programs 36 times an hour.

That’s a lot of info, people. Apparently there are neuroscientists even studying how all this overloading of our brains affects us, our stress levels, and our overall interaction with other people.

Personally, I know that technology is not only my lifeline but also the bane of my existence. My stress levels are through the roof, and I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I’m a prime candidate for some crazy stress-induced disease when I’m older.

However, I’m not as plugged in as other people.

I refused to do that stupid thing where people walk around with earbuds on constantly. I’m sorry, but life has a sound track all of its own and it’s not “Tonight’s going to be a good night” by the Black Eyed Peas.

While I was in D.C., I got tired of always having to turn off my phone in between events. Eventually, I just silenced the thing. When I realized how peaceful it was not to have to feel compelled to answer my phone everytime it rang, I decided to keep it. My cell is always silenced, and I will get to people’s calls when I get to it.

Sure, some days I wish I had a blackberry so I can have my email sent to me very own pocket.  But I realize that would only make me crazier (after all, everyone I know with a blackberry is definitely crazy). According to Women’s Health, it takes about 50 emails a day to stress out a person. I currently have 70 unread ones (and no…they are not spam).

The interview continues to go on with how some study with rats found that down time helped memorization and brain function. Well, Good GOD! No wonder my brain is fried. I work 30 hours a week, plus full-time classes, plus homework. Downtime doesn’t exist for me.

The verdict? We’re all going to be brain-dead burnouts in the future. Nah, that’s not exactly what they said. But still, I feel like this interview was very interesting and made me reconsider how wired in I actually am.



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