This is what texting does to your brain
Many things have changed due to technological advances. I noticed this just yesterday when thinking about writing an old-fashioned letter. Yes, those aren’t as important anymore, since texting seems to convey the same messages. Which brings me to the topic at hand-texting – what effect does this activity have on us?
All around the world, smartphones make it easier to convey messages without speaking. Texting has changed the world – much like the internet, connecting from long distances! Texting has also changed our brains. Scientists have found that while texting, brain patterns are different than when doing any other activity.
The processes of the brain
It’s only temporary, but the brain changes when you send text messages. It’s almost as if you enter a whole new mode of operation and thinking. Brain waves actually change, and it’s something unique only to texters. It’s called the “texting rhythm”. And differing brain patterns are rare, only being observed since 1920 after the invention of the electroencephalogram (EEG) device.
Dr. William Tatum, neurologist at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, in Jacksonville, Florida, said,
“In the study, the results can be produced in different people.”
Studies reveal curious results
The brain waves of 129 people, while texting, were monitored with the EEG device. Some of the subjects had been diagnosed with epilepsy. During the tests, the participants were asked to complete other tasks as well, such as speech or cognitive activities. The objective was to see if these other tasks would produce the same patterns as with texting.
Tatum told Live Science,
“The brain wave pattern that the researchers observed when people were texting was not seen during other activities”.
Twenty-seven of the participants showed the texting pattern, both those with epilepsy and those free of the condition. It’s not obvious why many of the subjects lacked the texting pattern. Although other reactive rhythms do occur in everyone-patterns triggered by flashing lights or intense mental focus. Researchers are still unsure about which people would more likely exhibit the texting pattern – more studies will be needed.
While the texting pattern doesn’t seem to be harmful, the brain activity changes prove that it does cause distractions. That’s more reason to avoid texting and driving and other multitasking endeavors with the smartphone.
Although we don’t write love letters anymore, we manage to convey so much with texting. Maybe we are even forming networks within the brain which will someday be able to connect us wirelessly. In the future, changes could include things within our wildest imaginations.
Who knows how different our brains will become in years to come, all because of technological advances.
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