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Lately, there's been a lot of talk about whether the internet (or our use of it) is making us stupid. If you haven't already, you can read the text that started the controversy here.

But, if I were you, I'd read this one because it provides an informed analysis, with testimonials from creative types, psychologists and neuroscientists.

The issue, however, isn't WHAT we are allowing the internet to do to our brains, but rather: what choice do we have?

The internet is here, and it's not going away. The more you interact with it, the more it'll affect your mind and, quite possibly, your brain.

So, if mutation is inevitable, how do we make sure the mutation is benign?

Admittedly, I'm an information junkie, and the time I spend getting my fix everyday sometimes leaves my brain throbbing, and although the brain is not a muscle, I treat it as one. That means I give it a good workout, and then stretch it, to make sure it won't ache or cramp up in the middle of the night.

Stretch the brain? WTF??

Yes, stretch the brain. This is why:

Every time you absorb a wealth of new information, it needs some time to settle. You need to let the new info get acquainted with the existing concepts that are already comfortably hanging out in your mind. Therefore, let information settle by:

1. meditation - true meditation is rare, but what matters for "brain stretching" is the daily progress towards true meditation. In other words: wake up 15 minutes earlier, sit comfortably, keep your back straight, close your eyes, and just be still. Don't worry about "letting your mind go blank" or "reaching a zen-like state". Just sit still, and observe what goes through your mind. Sometimes it's images or things you're worried about; other times it's songs that stick in your head. No matter what it is, eventually, your thoughts get tired of running around, and settle down.

2. surprise your brain - do old things in new ways.
  • Walk/drive a different way to work
  • Commute earlier/later
  • Stop drinking coffee/eating sugar for a week
  • Sleep on the other side of the bed
  • Communicate for an hour without speaking
3. Mens sana in corpore sano - sound mind in a sound body. Stay fit... or at least, exercise a bit. Walk, run, skip, climb, swim, surf, STRETCH, etc... Eat good stuff. Stay healthy.

That's what works for me, anyway. What are you doing to mutate into something better?

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