The fact is: I cannot juggle. My coordination is terrible, and if I were to try tossing around something like oranges, they are more than likely going bruise as they hit the floor in less than a second. However, I CAN juggle with my mind. Whether this is a good skill or a bad skill is the conclusion of this brief experiment.
As a freshman in college, my hand is glued to my phone. I am constantly checking notifications left and right. But how often am I really separating myself from the real world to take a peek into the virtual one? The experiment started when I created a log for all of the communication that takes place in my average day. I had estimated how many snapchats I’d receive (optimistically thinking I would receive more than I really got. I guess I don’t have as many friends as I thought I do). I decided to keep track of what I used most on my phone and computer: messages, calls, snapchats, twitter, instagram, Facebook, reddit. I also recorded my time spent on face to face communication and what I’ll call “faceless communication” which was time spent with others, but not engaging and looking down at my phone. The experiment took one whole day, and the results were a bit unsettling.
But before we laugh at the time I spend on my phone, let’s conclude what exactly “Juggler’s mind” is. Nicholas Carr shows in his article, “The Juggler’s Brain,” The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, the human brain is one that strives for information and greater complexity. He concludes that there is a common trend amongst those who use the Net and how the vast amount of information available shallows the mind. With constantly switching back and forth from interesting subject to interesting subject, we lose the ability to dive deeper into one particular thing.
I completely agree with his statements. There is evidence in MY everyday life that it affects people who frequent the Net. Without reading the article before (in order not to create a placebo affect) I became conscious of my almost meaningless interactions with the virtual world and what information it has to offer at first glance. I became very aware of how good I am at juggling all of the WRONG things.
Hopefully think link can help all of you victims out there and your tendencies to shallow information on the net.