Friday, November 18, 2016

Simple Book Review: iBrain (Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind)

iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind (2008)
by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

Reading this book remind me of other books that I’ve read such as Don Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital, Jesse Rice’s The Church of Facebook, Kim Stolz’s Unfriending My Ex and Daniel Sieberg’s The Digital Diet. Basically, all of these books are about how digital age and technology effect the way we think and behave. What make this book different is that Gary Small, a neuroscientist and experts on brain function and behaviour, gives hundreds of researches, studies and experiments on the human brains to draw conclusions in his book. This book is full of facts but not as dry as textbook. It’s interesting! I read this book because I want to understand my students (Digital Natives) and myself (between Digital Natives and Immigrants) in this always-online generations.

iBrain explores “how technology’s unstoppable march forward has altered the way young minds develop, function, and interpret information.” It reveals “a new evolution catalysed by technological advancement and its future implications.” And iBrain also offer helps/tips to avoid the potential drawbacks such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (H for Hyperactivity), increased social isolation, Internet addiction, hyper-multitasking, and so on. They offer tools and strategies needed to bridge the brain gap, enabling us to compete and shrive in the age of high-tech immersion.

This book divide into nine chapters: #1 Your Brain Is Evolving Right Now; #2 Brain Gap: Technology Dividing Generations; #3 Addicted to Technology; #4 Technology and Behaviour: ADHD, Indigo Children and Beyond; #5 High-Tech Culture: Social, Political and Economic Impact; #6 Brain Evolution: Where Do You Stand Now?; #7 Reconnecting Face to Face; #8 The Technology Toolkit; and #9 Bridging the Brain Gap; Technology and The Future Brain.

I learned great deal about technology addictions, the fall of multitasking activities, the power and danger of high-tech culture, the important of face-to-face communications and social skills, the usefulness of physical and brain exercise, and how to balance technology and off-line life. “All of us, Digital Natives and Immigrants, will master new technologies and take advantage of their efficiencies,” writes Gary Small, “but we also need to maintain our people skills and humanity. Whether in relation to a focused Google search or an empathic listening exercise, our synaptic responses can be measured, shaped, and optimized to our advantage, and we can survive the technological adaptation of the modern mind.”


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