How Technology Affects Millennials’ Brains
Did you know that millennials’ brains are fundamentally different from those of the older generations?
Typically, a baby boomer can concentrate on a task for longer than a millennial; but on the flip side, a millennial will excel at dealing with multiple data, without becoming flustered like their parents are.
But in addition to the expected differences in brains between an older and younger person, there is also the effect of technology on the development of millennial brains.
This is because a brain does not finish developing fully until the age of 25, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
They also claim it’s highly possible that millennials’ brains may develop in different ways, because of immersion in modern technology, and that this could affect communication.
AREAS OF THE BRAIN
The reason why scientists believe that millennial generation brains may be developing in a different way to previous demographics is that different activities engage different parts of the brain. For example, reading and talking use one area of the brain, whereas texting uses another. Scientists in the Chinese Academy of Sciences have already found alterations in how various areas of the brain develop namely the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex.
NEGATIVE AFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ON MILLENNIAL BRAINS
The areas of the brain which may be adversely affected by technology are the ones that govern communication.
Firstly, the prefrontal cortex which is situated in the frontal lobe governs behavior, understanding, and personality. The understanding of words happens in the parietal lobe and the cerebellum is in charge of muscle use, in relation to language.
What has been observed is a shrinking of the outer of the brain. This makes it harder for millennials to comprehend data, and it can also have an impact on how young people socialize. It affects the control millennials exercise over their emotions and their memory and also has implications for their attention span. These are the things that govern social communication and interaction.
The effects of technology are also pervading the classroom. Lecturers at university are already aware that millennials are far less concerned with “face time” meetings with their tutors than they are at communicating electronically with them. In other words, they will choose to email a teacher over actually going to see them and having a human conversation.
Therefore, the implication for the communication and verbal skills of millennials is huge.
As you may expect, older generations are less likely to own a smartphone or spend as many hours a day online as a millennial.
Ultimately, though, the onus will be on older generations to shift in their attitudes to accommodate the social norms that millennials take for granted – after all, they are the future!