The_Next_Step_in_Brain_Evolution_-_Richard_Woods

The_Next_Step_in_Brain_Evolution_-_Richard_Woods -...

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http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article683193.ece From The Sunday Times - July 9, 2006 Report: The next step in brain evolution Technology is dividing us into digital natives and digital immigrants - and changing the way we think, says Richard Woods Emily Feld is a native of a new planet. While the 20-year-old university student may appear to live in London, she actually spends much of her time in another galaxy — out there, in the digital universe of websites, e-mails, text messages and mobile phone calls. The behaviour of Feld and her generation, say experts, is being shaped by digital technology as never before, taking her boldly where no generation has gone before. It may even be the next step in evolution, transforming brains and the way we think. “First thing every morning I wake up, check my mobile for messages, have a cup of tea and then check my e-mails,” says Feld. “I may have a look at Facebook.com, a website connecting university students, to see if someone has written anything on my ‘wall’. I’m connected to about 80 people on that. It’s really addictive. I’ll then browse around the internet, and if a news article on Yahoo catches my eye, I’ll read it. And I may upload my iTunes page to see if any of my subscribed podcasts have come in. “The other day, I went to meet a friend in town, and was about two minutes away when I realised I’d left my mobile phone at home. I travelled the five miles back to collect it. I felt so completely lost without it, I panicked. I need to have it on me at all times. I sound really sad, but everyone I know is the same. Everyone talks to each other through the internet or with mobiles. Technology is an essential part of my everyday social and academic life. I don’t know where I’d be without it. In fact, I’ve never really been without it.” That’s what makes Emily a “digital native”, one who has never known a world without instant communication. Her mother, Christine, on the other hand, is a “digital immigrant”, still coming to terms with a culture ruled by the ring of a mobile and the zip of e-mails. Though 55-year-old Christine happily shops online and e-mails friends, at heart she’s still in the old world. “Children today are multitasking left, right and centre — downloading tracks, uploading photos, sending e-mails. It’s nonstop,” she says with bemusement. “They find sitting down and reading, even watching TV, too slow and boring. I can’t imagine many kids indulging in one particular hobby, such as birdwatching, like they used to.” This generational divide has been evident for a while, but only now is its impact becoming clear. Last month, Lord Saatchi, doyen of the advertising world, virtually declared the death of traditional advertising — because digital technology is changing the
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way people absorb information. The digital native’s brain is physically different as a
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course ENG 214 taught by Professor Arber during the Spring '08 term at S.F. State.

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The_Next_Step_in_Brain_Evolution_-_Richard_Woods -...

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