Name: Popcorn brain.
Look: Like overexcited popcorn kernels jumping around in a pan. Or, if you prefer, in your microwave.
Can popcorn kernels be over excited? Seems unlikely. Not the point. “Popcorn brain” is a metaphor to explain the multitasking and overstimulation caused by the digital world. It was first created in 2011 by David M Levy, whose books include Mindful Tech and No Time to Think. Now, he says, the design of many of our most used applications looks similar uniquely suited to scatter focus“.
Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I watched TikTok panda fail. Pandas are so useless. Why are they not extinct? Focus! Levy’s suggestion is that the brain has become so used to non-stop digital yip-yap – notification things, new tabs, ads, lurid content, cute pandas – that it mimics that frenetic pace.
I see the former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger won an award to be in that play. The Pussycat Dolls were sorry, weren’t they? Please, will you concentrate? Apparently, the popcorn brain phenomenon has gotten worse over the past two decades, coinciding with the rise of social media. According to one survey, the time a person can focus on one thing has decreased from approx two and a half minutes to about 47 seconds over the past 20 years.
Aston Villa’s home form is a concern. When is Tyrone Mings return to bolster Villains’ leaky defense? Stop this mindless scrolling. According to psychologist Dannielle Haig, social media platforms use algorithms to feed us information, notifications and entertainment. Each piece of new information triggers a dopamine release, which rewards our brain and encourages us to continue this cycle of seeking out and receiving new stimuli.
I wonder if anyone could taste it life size taylor swift cake anyone made for the super bowl? Haig says: “Over time, this constant demand for attention and the rapid switching between tasks can lead to a feeling of mental restlessness or the brain ‘bouncing around’ as it struggles to focus on any task for an extended period of time. “
Oh, God, she’s right! How can I stop wasting my life on studying Villa’s house form and Scherzinger’s resume? There are many self-help books that advise us on how to regain focus, such as Aditi Nerurkar’s The 5 Resets: Rewire Your Brain and Body for Less Stress and More Resilience.
To yawn! Even the subtitle sounds boring. What can I do that doesn’t involve reading self-help books? Set tech-free times, put your phone in another room (with notifications off) and regularly delete apps, suggest clinical psychologist Dr Daniel Glazer. Or, if you’re lucky, accidentally leave your phone on the bus, like I did.
Don’t say: “Can there ever be too many cute kitten videos? That question is rhetorical.”
Do say: “I am a member of homo sapiens, not – pauses for dramatic effect – phono sapiens.”