I posed a question to a friend the other day: “Would you say that you remember less or more than you did before Smartphones?”
We both had to admit that we used to recall our calendar, repeat and frequently “dialed” phone numbers, dates of loved ones birthday’s and special occasions, SS#’s, Driver License #, etc but now rely all of that to our Smartphones.
Here is a thought from an article in Psychology Today;
“A recent study showed that a group pausing to take photos at regular intervals had poorer recall of the event than those who were immersed in the experience. And an earlier piece of research suggested that photos helped people remember what they saw, but reduced their memory of what was said.
It seems that the key factor in these situations is attention – actively taking photos may distract and distance someone from aspects of an experience, meaning that less is remembered.”
While it may be true that technology is changing the way we use our memory at times, there is no scientific reason to believe that it reduces the inherent capacity of our brains to learn and grow. What do you do to grow the capacity of your brain? Exercise your memory?
Another thing to consider is are we staying up late with technology reading, catching up on emails, social media posts etc. Lack of sleep has been documented to slow the brains receptors and ability to function at its peak.
By and large, when our memory fails us, it is because we are tired, not paying attention, or trying to do too much at once. Using lists, diaries and smartphone reminders does not make memory less efficient but rather, it frees the brain up to do other things. And instead of making us lazy, looking something up on the internet can help to reinforce or enrich our knowledge base.
But there may be occasions when technology gets in the way – by distracting us from a potentially special moment, or luring us into surfing the web instead of getting much-needed sleep. Most everyday memory lapses can be fixed simply by being more mindful and less busy. So, if you want to remember times with friends, my advice is to enjoy the moment, chat about it afterwards and enjoy a good night’s sleep. BE COGNITIVE IN THE MOMENT.
One late evening while strolling along the coastline and exploring yet another grand resort of the South Shore of Maui I came across a couple enjoying the newly developing sunset after a wedding that had to have cost thousands of dollars. There they were, pearched out on a rugged coastline away from the crowds and spectators dressed to the nines in their wedding attire, with attendants at their beck and call, absolute heaven and dream fulfillment happening…and the groom appears to be irritated and looks bored as the Bride is busy chatting and using her smartphone to text, chat and communicate with those NOT THERE. I was thinking NOTE TO SELF: Do Not let my self imposed responsibilities to others rob me of the moments that are for me and loved ones; Be Present.
Now that is what we can do to increase our memory and brain capacity, BE PRESENT. Be Open Hearted. To thrive we need to be aware of where we are, who we are with, and where we are headed.
I have come along way since I attended the remarkable experience that was my 1st Yoga/Meditation Retreat, #OpenHeartRetreats with Nikki Nelson of www.cognizantreconstruction.com @cognizantreconstruction and I am ever expanding my understanding of how to live in this abundant life. May each of us use today to BE PRESENT and make connections that will last us a lifetime.