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Jan 29, 2018

Social Media and The Mind

Written by Dr. Caroline Leaf

It is easy in today’s age to have access to any number of readily accessible stimuli through social media, email, text, ebooks, face time, skype, chat rooms—you name it. You literally have a world of data at your fingertips. You may be so connected that you have forgotten how to spend time just being alone with your thoughts. When was the last time you struck the pose – figuratively speaking – of the sculptor Auguste Rodin’s famous “thinker” statue? Do you fear being alone with yourself?

Today, most people can access vast amounts of information, yet few people know how to process this information and use it to be successful at school, work and life. We now have the world at our fingertips, yet, paradoxically, more and more of us live solitary, futile lives. Indeed, more and more of us, of all ages, prefer aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, online shopping apps or random things on our smart phones or devices than just sitting and thinking. Although we are more connected, literally, we are more isolated than ever before. As a result, problems in schools, universities, corporations and institutions and people’s lives abound as we lose sight of the power that is in our minds.

Technology and social media can, of course, be wonderful. Yet we need to make these mediums of communication work for us, not control us. A 140-character twitter feed, for instance, can consume inordinate amounts of time, yet no deep thinking ensues: no true satisfaction of mind is attained. Do we understand the damage this is doing? Can we counter it? How can we use technology to our own advantage?

Learn more about social media, loneliness, and how to develop a deep “thinker” mindset on this week’s podcasts!

Click here to listen now 

For more information on social media and the mind, check out my book Switch on Your Brain

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