Archive for October, 2014

Alot of you by now will know that I’m a brain geek. I like to look at how different things (especially lack of sleep as my major obsession) affect the workings of our brain. So yesterday, I was listening to this fascinating podcast by the guy who created the website ‘your brain on porn‘ and how he approached the effects of porn not on a moral or religious perspective, but just purely on neurological science. He’s got a ted talk too which is supposedly very popular but I didn’t really like some of the things he said on the ted talk so I’m not posting it here. But you can click through to his website if you’re interested.

Then as I clicked through to related sites, I came across this very short, succinct yet insightful youtube video that explains the seeking nature of our brain and how we are susceptible to being compulsive clickers, clicking from one thing on the internet, to the next, to the next, forever being distracted by something and finding it very hard to focus on something for a longer period of time. Which really reminded me of a student I was talking to in the earlier part of the year. I remember she labelled herself as a compulsive procrastinator. She knows that A levels is coming and she has tons of stuff that she has to take note of, memorize and apply but she just keeps finding herself clicking from video to video on youtube. And if she successfully managed to steer away from youtube, she then finds herself clicking from one interesting article to the next on huffington, or checking twitter and facebook to see if there’s something interesting going on there and before she knows it it’s 1am and she remembered the school counsellor’s blog post that talked about importance of sleep, so she goes to sleep and then wake up feeling guilty and lousy cos she didn’t do any of the work she set out to do and the cycle continues.

Probably something alot of you may find familiar. Me too. I was so fascinated by this topic I clicked from article to article, and then found this youtube video and thought I should click through to their other videos and then found a video on violent behaviors of panda….okay just the last bit is completely made up.

So what do we do about this? According to this article on how the internet is a supernormal stimuli, awareness is a really good start. When we’re aware that our brain is a compulsive seeker of new information, we can pause and choose whether to cave in to the temptations or to regulate and over-ride them, especially if you have national exams on the line. And as it comes to building awareness, the .b mindfulness course I’m hoping to teach to more students at YJC in 2015 would probably help with that as well (fingers crossed).