Today technology is made use of almost daily, however, we are least bothered to know how it impacts our brains. We wouldn’t have reached the point where we are today, if we weren’t built to adapt, though. With civilization advancing at a blazing-speed, these adaptations take less and less time. For better or worse, technology does change us.
Phonographs Changed Our Idea Of Ideal Song Length
Almost all modern songs are nearly four minutes long. We just like to tune out if we come across a song that is much longer. This phenomenon was in reality inspired by the 19th century invention by Thomas Edison — the phonograph. The recording devices in those times could hold around 4 minutes worth of music.
A side effect of the storage limitations of phonograph recording was the end of classical music as a popular art form.
Listening To Radio Messes With Our Critical Thinking
Psychologists studied the effects of radio and deduced that when people hear a disembodied voice, they give it more authority than a voice with a body attached. The reason being that disembodied voice is supposed to possess no agenda or other corporeal flaws. Listening to the radio was also found to reduce overall cognitive abilities for the duration of the activity.
Old Televisions Made People Dream In Black And White
Scientists have found a fascinating fact about television viewing. Eva Muryzn of Dundee University discovered that arrival of television made people dream in black and white. However, as television transitioned to color, more color was introduced back into our dreams.
Constant Mobile Phone Usage Makes Us Depressed
In 2011 a study was conducted around the mental health status of mobile phone users using written questionnaires, which participants were asked to complete again one year later. The results were astonishing — a jump in risks of depression and sleep disturbances were linked with high rates of mobile phone usage.
The likelihood of being contacted at any time or woken in the night escalated the stress of the high-usage participants.
The Internet Is Changing The Way We Read
With the arrival of internet we have stopped reading in a linear fashion. Today we scan for keywords, and follow links, and try to amass bits of information while we hop across different pages. We don’t like to stay on a page for longer than a few seconds.
Social Media Increases Our Self-Esteem
Two researchers were done at Indiana University to study the effects of Facebook on self-esteem – and the results were anything but surprising. By ‘selective self-reporting,’ which implies utilizing social media to make an image of your ideal self, participants literally experienced increased feelings of self-esteem. The findings suggest that the key to self-esteem is choosing to be happy with yourself regardless of your current situation.
Regardless of the seeming ridiculousness of some of the more alarmist assertions, television does alter the way we think. Our biological make-up is such that we can hardly differentiate between fantasy and reality. While watching television, we come across images of the world that don’t reflect reality: more drugs, more violence, more poverty, and more wealth. Continuously watching this stuff prompt us to integrate these images with our actual worldview.
Called cultivation theory this is risky — as it can force us to form opinions and biases based on a distorted view of the world.
Digital Cameras Have Changed How We Attend Events
User-friendly digital cameras has made clicking tons of pictures during concerts, parties, and other events a piece of cake. So we like to spend more time clicking photos rather than on participating in the event.
Steve Coburn, a doctoral student at Sussex University studied the phenomenon, and deduced that concertgoers prioritize the longing to prove everyone that ‘they were there’ and beat the traditional media to the punch. It looks silly to give so much importance to proving attendance at an event involving presumably thousands of people, but it’s the same idea behind the Facebook mirror image. The event turns out into a sort of self-actualization, and the photos are uploaded to social media to raise the positive mirror-image self.
The ‘Walkman Effect’ And Interpersonal Communication
Before iPod landed, the Walkman monopolized the world of personal music players. The issue is that donning headphones effectively blocks everything—and everyone—around the listener. A designer witnessed the effects personally when he was testing the device — his wife told him that she felt left out. Thus, extra headphone jacks and the ability to turn down the noise when someone talks to you were injected to bring down interpersonal isolation.
However, as per a study people sometimes are more comfortable discussing private matters in front of those wearing headphones, even if they might not currently be playing anything, because it gives them a sense of privacy.
Playing The Bad Guy In Video Games Makes Us Feel Guilty
We can’t discern exactly the effects that violent video games have on players’ behavior. However, a study has found that playing video games that include violent scenarios, among other immoral actions, can generate beneficial effects. People who participate in immoral actions in video games afterwards feel guilty about those actions.
That means our brains translate those actions as real. We turn more morally inclined after committing immoral acts against pixelated people and objects. Guilt motivate us to be good, say researchers.