Via KurzweilAI.net — They eat into our downtime.
From the link:
Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
August 25, 2010
Source: New York Times, Aug 24, 2010
When people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.
At the University of California, San Francisco, scientists have found that when rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process those patterns in a way that seems to create a persistent memory of the experience.
The researchers suspect that the findings also apply to how humans learn.
At the University of Michigan, a study found that people learned significantly better after a walk in nature than after a walk in a dense urban environment, suggesting that processing a barrage of information leaves people fatigued.