In a front-page article, the New York Times (6/7, A1, Richtel) reports, “Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.”
Notably, “These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.” Psychiatrist Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, says, “The technology is rewiring our brains.” Volkow “and other researchers compare the lure of digital stimulation less to that of drugs and alcohol than to food and sex, which are essential but counterproductive in excess.”
- Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price,” Matt Richtel, The New York Times, June 6, 2010.