How Smartphones and Digital Screens Transform Minds

Baby reading a tablet

Are You Hard-Wired? Neuroscientists warn that people who use smartphones and digital devices for reading seem to be developing “digital brains”. These online readers are developing new circuits designed for skimming through a flood of information online and skipping around through hyperlinked pages. This new alternative way of reading appears to be at odds with the traditional linear print reading circuitry developed over the past several thousands of years — from the birth of Egyptian hieroglyphics to the emergence of the Gutenberg press. Many believe that online reading is not only transforming how we read, but our minds as well. Online readers skim, pick out key words, and organizing their eye movements to generate the most information at the highest speed. And, they do this at a rate too fast to ingest real meaning. The question is, “Are we developing Twitter brains?” If cable TV news gave the world the sound […] Read more »