Between checking email, social media and news sources, there’s a lot more information out there to process than there used to be. Tech expert David Ryan Polgar from DavidRyanPolgar.com explained mental obesity.
About Mental Obesity:
Finding a proper digital consumption balance will improve the three areas affected by information overload (the 3 C’s): conversations, critical thinking, and creativity. It is possible to embrace the many benefits of technology while also maintaining a healthy level of social and thinking skills.
Our information consumption is just like our food consumption; too much eating and not enough exercise leads to obesity. Likewise, our over consumption of information is leading us to become mentally obese. We may feel scatterbrained as a result of this cognitive overload.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it is natural to want to gather as much information as possible. Information was always a limited resource throughout history. Information was then digested and turned into knowledge and later synthesized into our critical thinking.
Critical thinking, or wisdom, is our deepest level of thinking. Now that information has become unlimited the process is out of whack: we are stuck at the information stage—and therefore stuck at a more superficial level of thinking. (Information—Knowledge—Wisdom)
Polgar suggests 4 ways to approach a healthy digital lifestyle, outlined in the Mental Food Plate (PIC):
- Take a mental assessment (Are you mentally obese?)
- Mindful consumption of information (Consider what you consume)
- Reflection (Have tech-free moments to reflect)
- Brain Training (If you don’t use it, you lose it)