Cognitive processing and social media
This post talks of a study that found your ability to process information can be hampered by too much exposure to social media. The quotation from a Swedish Computer Science professor:
At any given time, the working memory can carry up to three or four items. When we attempt to stuff more information in the working memory, our capacity for processing information begins to fail.
When you are on Facebook, you are making it harder to keep the things that are ‘online’ in your brain that you need. In fact, when you try to process sensory information like speech or video, you are going to need partly the same system of working memory, so you are reducing your own working memory capacity.
And when you try to store many things in your working memory, you get less good at processing information.
I'd need to read the paper itself to comment on that part of it, but I had to laugh at the solution suggested by the author (bearing in mind he claims to do 'mindfulness training'):
So, how can you take your brain offline? I recommend taking regular 5-minute breaks every hour or two to relax and temporarily reduce your exposure to new information. You can do a quick meditation, go for a short walk or spend a few minutes listening to music. This will help you improve your capacity to process information and increase your productivity.
Five minutes every couple of hours? Wow. I'm guessing our brains need way more downtime than that.
In addition, I've realised recently that there's a reason that people read books and newspapers. Although social media updates and blog posts are valuable, it's not like people necessary bring their 'A' game.
Related: Belshaw Black Ops (which I'll be doing again this year)