Watching the weather guy on the late news last night I cringed every time I heard the presenter say ‘gonna’ and ‘want to’. What’s happened to the fine art of writing and speaking? Young people sending text messages now write in a language including alien drawing from a different galaxy.
The Generation Gap
Recently, I ventured to a MacDonald’s restaurant and had to ask the young man serving me to repeat every question at least four times before I could know what she was saying. She spoke so quickly and with no articulation or modulation in her voice that I thought I was being hit on the head by a quick broadband internet modem. Is that a sign of where the future is taking us? So what do I do, speed up how I talk, think, write and what else? I mean, is it a case of “If you can not beat them, then you join them”?
Sadly, I realize our world was invaded by extraterrestrials who spoke slower, composed in nicer penmanship and didn’t have a problem with space and time. The generation gap appeared narrower back then. But at this rate I think we’ll be causing much more damage to our brain. An increasing number of people I know are complaining about having a bad memory, being dyslexic when they compose and feeling unmotivated with life generally.
I am not sure when this metamorphosis into an altered state started, but Dr Norman Doidge, a psychologist on the Research Faculty at Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, makes a lot of sense to me. He says that those who talk and write slower and clearly demonstrate better motor skills and enjoy healthy physiological activity.
He was recently interviewed on ABC1 Television (1/5/09) and spoke about ‘Neuroplasticity’ being a significant element when it comes to brain activity. What can it be, I hear you ask? Or if I say,”Whotsit orl abaut, partner?” Yes, I understood you the first time! Neuroplasticity works on the assumption that when you stop using certain parts of the mind you wind up losing them.
A person used to speaking to a lot of people every day and discovered everyday challenging in a fantastic way felt they were so’on their feet’ mentally for the majority of their waking hours. Their thinking was sharper, their memory more exact. The same individual would become a different person once they retired and their lifestyle changed into a more inactive presence. I can vouch for this as members of my family who’ve retired from a more active living today appear to lead a life apparently aimless and devoid of any meaningful mental stimulation.
For me, sitting down and doing nothing watching TV for hours on end is not the most stimulating means of living a lifetime. Things they can do before, such as recall things clearly, get instantaneous mental solutions to problems, recall dates and times, staying motivated and having a greater level of personal power could be lost in their retirement years since those faculties were no longer being used. Quite simply put, if you do not use it you lose it!
Dr Doidge also points out the way to stimulate your mind and keep up a healthy degree of functionality you will need to do something fresh and tax your mind to find out more about a regular basis (warning: Mind on the job!). For instance, learning a new language will encourage brain cells to grow and develop more links so that your mental activity really enhances. I don’t think anybody would like to wind up in an old people’s home with their head tilted to one side feeling the spit drip from a corner of the mouth and lacking the mental presence to wash it off. That’s a gloomy picture and one to which we’re gravitating towards.
Only yesterday I heard Olivia Newton-John of this famed classical film ‘Grease’ talk in a radio interview about enhancing your mental awareness. She said too many people today appear to be influenced by some sort of brain disorder or malfunction. She was promoting the advantages of working with the new Nintendo mind exerciser, and I believe I will be getting one myself.
In effect, you mind is the most sophisticated computer gift on earth, at this moment. So how can we stop it from degrading and becoming dysfunctional? Dr Doidge further explains in his book ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ the human mind is so plastic, and so flexible, it has the power to alter itself, regenerate and adapt to situations and experiences also well into older age. Our belief system concerning the mind must change as we’re discovering more and more of what it is really capable of doing.