Boosting Brain Power

render1.jpgb76c5613-1bbd-4fec-b29d-68b8e417e0d4LargeIn a recent book, Make Your Brain Smarter, Sandra Chapman divides people chronologically into “brain stages,” starting with young teens. They are:

  •         Immediates-  (13-24)
  •         Finders-  (25-35)
  •         Seekers- (36-45)
  •         Thinkers (46-65)
  •         Knowers (66-100+)

She then discusses methods of optimizing brain power for each group.  This discussion focuses on the first group. The main characteristic of those in the ImMEDIAte group (her punctuation) is their reliance upon technology.  They use their phones more for texting and social media than for oral conversation.  They must have constant and immediate access to their smart phones, some even sleeping with them. “A recent report found that one in three college students considers being able to connect to the Internet as important as fundamental resources like air, water, and shelter.” Immediates “initiate, keep, and terminate relationships” through their phones.

Dr. Chapman points out that this continuous interplay with technology actually rewires the brain, causing individuals to become “addicted to being distracted.” Is it simply a coincidence that the diagnosis of ADHD is so common at a time when people are subjected to ever-changing stimuli?  She cites another report that indicates that 20% of college students admit to being interrupted six or more times every hour they are doing homework.  Moreover, 10% of college students  claim they can’t even count how may times they’re distracted while they try to study.  She warns: “Technological progress is obstructing individual creativity and failing to inspire this generation’s capacity to think for themselves.” This is a global rather than national situation.  Their requirement for immediate answers “does not necessarily lead to expanding curiosity and enhanced capacity to solve the complexity of problems that may plague their generation.”

One way of alleviating the effects of a constant media barrage is to disconnect.  Students should disconnect their phones while they are engaged in any task that requires a working brain.  They can accomplish much more with full concentration on the task at hand. Immediates are “at a life stage that has immense potential for brain expansion. The brain undergoes more changes during those years  . . . than in any other time expect for the first two month of life.” They should take advance of the is period to expand their brain power rather than be slaves to technology.

She believes that the education system has to add a 4th. R.  In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, students also learn REASONING.  Unplug and THINK!

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