• Patrick McAndrew

That Like Just Rewired My Brain!

Talk of the town is that social media is actually rewiring the human brain.  So for all of you science folks out there, stay tuned!  Because I don’t know much when it comes to this science stuff.


Dr. Daniel Siegal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, has a video on Youtube with Business Insider Science called “How Social Media is Rewiring Our Brains,” in which he discusses…how social media is rewiring our brains.  More specifically, he talks about how social media took off because the brain is social and humans have a psychological need to connect with each other.  He goes on to explain how the brain formed social media and now social media is forming the brain.  You can watch the video below:



What I like about this short, but informational, video is that he goes into specific detail about the differences between social media and face-to-face interaction.  Dr. Siegal talks about the 7 Signals of Face-to-Face Interaction, those being:

  1. Eye Contact

  2. Facial Expression

  3. Tone of Voice

  4. Posture

  5. Gestures

  6. Timing

  7. Intensity

Now, of course, you don’t need to be a doctor to know that social media and other forms of online communication are lacking all of these signals.  But what I find fascinating is that Siegal goes into the anatomy of the brain to describe how we, as humans, are able to interact.  While the right hemisphere of the brain creates and understands emotions, the left hemisphere of the brain deals more with logistics.  Siegal quotes:


“The more and more people spend time not using non-verbal signals and instead use mostly verbal ones, that is texts with language that has a linear way of being distributed, you’re activating primarily your left hemisphere, which, in the brain, is much more distant from those lower areas that help mediate emotion from within the body.”


Because of this, it is important to practice social media use in moderation, let alone all screen time.  And this, my friends, is why theatre is SO crucial in today’s world.  In theatre, in performance, you are actively exercising the 7 signals that Siegal is talking about.  In the theatre, you are studying what it means to be human.  Psychology and theatre go hand in hand in several ways.  I’m a big believer that theatre and actor training play an important role in training people to develop their right brains so that they can better understand the emotions of others and their own emotions.


What do you guys think?  Is this something to be mindful of?  Why?  Comment below!


Your friend,


Pat

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