Have you ever wondered how your phone number or BB pin was anonymously passed to a third-party that has no connection to you what so ever? Or how sheepish strangers or contacts are from the initial conversations in the real world but slowly take on completely different personas online? Welcome to the digital age where man’s psyche has been fragmatized by pokes and pings out of reality.

If you haven’t yet realised, information is infinitely available from many sources. Our constant inundation with electronic stimuli, arguably makes it easy for us to dish out numbers and contacts without even knowing or caring why we give out such details.
Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the internet is Doing to Our Brains: makes a compelling case of such concerns being plausible. He argues that such digital stimuli is actually changing the brains wiring. As we select through those enticing Web Links,conduct multiple bb-chats, iphone tweet,or get our Facebook fix, we are also sapping our neurological ability to remember information or pay attention long enough to fully digest what we read or hear. This has subsequently lead to people having a harder time generating the same level of interest in their fellow man which is common symptom with the youth here. Just go to a Cedi Plaza , Play Bar, or any social setting. You find people struggling to strike up conversation, making mundane commentary. Before you know it, a tirade of requests for BB pins are made. This empowers us with the ability to selectively process information, pictures and more. Thus, we are creating a universe of fantasy lifestyles that would seem attractive to our peers because normal is now not good enough.

If that sounds like a doomsday anti-technology rant,give me a chance. The facts stand to reason. Studies show that the more links there are in an article, the lower the comprehension of the reader. Carr quotes neuroscientist Micheal Merzenich, who says we are “training our brains to pay attention to crap”. Perhaps what is more frightening is while the brain’s response to physical pain is immediate on neurological scans, people must now pay attention for a longer period of time before the brain shows signs of caring about someone else’s pain.

In conclusion, the internet age has changed the way we think, date, and interact with our fellow man. While one cannot stop the advancement of technology, it is worth knowing our changing behaviour. So don’t fret if you get added by an unknown contact on your Facebook or Blackberry Messenger. Count them among the many strangers who seek stimuli in this weird yet fascinating digital age.

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