Mind Change – Susan Greenfield Book Summary

Mind Change – Susan Greenfield | Free Book Summary

Mind Change – Susan Greenfield

Upon waking, you will be checking your phone within 15 minutes of consciousness.

You will need stimulation, excitement and escapism. So you use technology to socialise, for online shopping, playing games etc.

The Real physical world is becoming less relevant as traditional constraints of time and space fade.

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The brain undergoes continuous physical change… the brain remakes itself throughout life, in response to outside stimuli to its environment and to experience.

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Out Of Your Mind

The word ‘ecstasy’ in Greek means ‘to stand outside’ of oneself. It is this emotional, unreflective state that we seek out through a diverse range of pursuits – an absence of self consciousness, of being ‘abandoned’.

MINDLESS – sensation, strong feelings dominate, here and now, driven by external environment, little meaning, not self conscious, high dopamine, meaningless world.

MINDFUL – cognition, thinking dominates, past-present-future, driven by internal perceptions, personalised meaning, robust sense of self, less dopamine, meaningful world.

Thinking is movement confined to the brain.

Social Networking

When you share personal information on a social networking site, you share it with a large immediate audience.

Research shows that the lack of face to face communication leads to a corresponding rise in self disclosure. The absence of visual cues or body language to discourage us or make us second guess what we may disclose, has led to a rise in self disclosure.

Body language is an ancient evolutionary mechanism for not letting our defenses down prematurely.

We decided that these would be the social norms now, and we just went for it.

Video Games

Sometimes the real world is not the best place to be. Video games can provide a calming routine for people who are unable to cope with the uncertainties of the real world.

Unlike traditional real world games, video games offer an escape from the dull, difficult world to one that is more exciting, appealing to the senses, and where there are reassuringly definite and predictable outcomes in which the player can participate as a better self.

Research shows unhappy people create avatars that are very different from themselves, whereas happy people create avatars just like themselves.

Without Google and Wikipedia, I am stupid, not just ignorant.

The Display Is Driving You

Research analyzing reading behaviour in the digital environment has revealed that decreases in sustained attention are increasingly defining people’s literacy skills. People inclined to browse, scan and read more selectively, will spend less time on in depth and concentrated reading.

Paper books are of a fixed time and place, have permanence and therefore a reassuring security which an ebook will never deliver.

Search engines offer an easy, fast option as opposed to taking your brain for a workout, so you will now run the risk of becoming mentally flabby. The display will be driving you.

Books stand for knowledge, new ideas and the inventiveness of the human spirit and imagination.

Firstly, the human brain adapts to the environment; secondly, the environment is changing in an unprecedented way; so thirdly, the brain may also be changing in an unprecedented way.

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