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News Link • Internet

Technology Is Becoming Indistinguishable From Reality

•, Melissa Dykes

Recent studies show that the average person spends some 50 days of their lives each year online now. So much is being communicated so quickly, it's becoming impossible to keep up and physically process it all. The UN's World Health Organization just officially recognized burnout as a medical diagnosis. As the images in our media consumption are going by faster and faster, in the past two decades we have gone from commercials training our brains to accept piecemeal soundbites of information on television screens to computer platforms like Vine and Twitter training us to communicate in short time or character limits on smartphone screens.

It's been said the way information is being presented in our digital world these days is coming at us in so many disjointed bits, that our brains are having a harder time making a cohesive picture out of it all. More and more people are only skimming the daily headlines and then they go away believing they've educated themselves on what's going on in the world, with almost no historical context to speak of (outside of what's politically expedient). And the more our brains try to process at the speed of our digital devices – devices which are speeding up faster and faster with each new version that comes out, which is also happening with increasing frequency – the more burned out we actually become.

When information overload is taken to its logical conclusion, it conditions a state of learned helplessness in most people, who bury their heads further in the ever-widening, endless array of blue-screened distractions to let others do their critical thinking for them.