Do I have Popcorn Brain?

Computers save me tons of time and I spend a ton of time online. Everything was copacetic until I read about Popcorn Brain.

Medical researchers have analyzed human concentration in the 21st Century information age. It’s easy to get over stimulated by the massive amounts of rapid-fire input from all of our technological toys. With a few clicks I can get my entertainment, news, send emails, Skype, pay bills, shop, and chat with friends.

Bottom line? Popcorn Brain. The constant online stimulation makes it challenging for life offline—where things happen far slower. Further studies showed that lengthy online time is linked to lower levels of gray matter—the brain stuff that does my thinking. Uh oh.  At this stage, I can’t afford to lose any more gray matter.

Fed a steady media diet of sound bytes, our brains get rewired to crave that fast paced technological advantage. Our pleasure-seeking brain chemicals love this stimulation and it becomes harder to break away from that magnetic online pull.  We also become more easily distracted. Tell me about it.

The report warned we can lose our ability to connect to others in the eyeball-to-eyeball way. We can’t read human emotions as well because we’d rather email than visit.  Yep, guilty as charged again. To make matters worse, we don’t want to give up our online gadgets. We like them.

It’s probably a bad sign that when the Internet is down, I can get grumpy. When I count my online hours, I’m busted. There are times I choose the Internet over other activities … I in denial of Popcorn Brain?

The report said to have Internet free times. We actually need to be distracted from our technology distraction. When we're online we're supposed to take two-minute breaks and stare out the window to let our brain rest. Stare out the window? Me? Waste that kind of time?

It’s my own fault. I wouldn’t have found out about Popcorn Brain if I hadn’t been online. Oh well.

So what if I do have Popcorn Brain? At least now I have an excuse for why I’m easily distracted. And I have a label for my condition. Here in America, we like to have our excuses and our labels, now I have both.

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