Too Much Online Time is Bad For Your Brain
Studies show that too much online time can actually change brain structures.
The study looked at college students who spent about 10 hours a day online in comparison to those who spent less than two hours a day. The study showed that heavy Internet users actually had different brain structures in the “thinking” part of the brain. Read more
Multitasking & Being Online
Research says that the constant online stimulation of being online can activate pleasure centres in the brain; the brain is wired to crave the instantaneous pleasures that online multitasking can give. But, the brain also needs the downtime—the slower pace of being offline—to process and rest.
Not surprisingly, a surplus of online time didn’t just have cognitive implications— social ramifications of spending too much time online were observed in studies, such as not being able to properly identify the emotions of people in stories.
Guidelines to Monitor & Reduce Technology at Home:
While it can be difficult to cut back online time putting household usage guidelines into place helps everyone become more aware of how much technology they use in a day.
- Keep track of how many hours a day that you are online. Some studies show that students are online for up to 7 hours a day! What websites do you visit? What takes up the most time?
- Set time limits—balance is key. The article suggests no more than two hours online at a time.
- Train your brain to slow down. Stare out the window, and daydream. Pay attention to what your brain is thinking about. Try to focus on a single subject for a period of time. If you get off track, pull yourself back to the subject that you are supposed to be thinking about.
- Have offline time. Set a rule in your house to have an offline time where everyone puts away the gadgets and powers down; this is especially important as part of the evening routine as studies show that being offline in the hours before bed can improve sleep.
- Get some exercise. Find an activity to do that takes you away from all electronics and gets your blood pumping.