Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what about the cost?
Weaving together history, popular literature, media and industry hype, sociology and psychology, and observations from over eighteen years of clinical practice and research, Dr. Mari Swingle explores the pervasive influence of i-technology. Engaging and entertaining yet scientifically rigorous, i-Minds demonstrates:
How constant connectivity is rapidly changing our brains What dangers are posed to children and adults alike in this brave new world The positive steps we can take to embrace new technology while protecting our well-being and steering our future in a more human direction
This extraordinary book is a virtually indispensable look at a revolution where the only constant is change; food for thought about which aspects of technology we should embrace, what we should unequivocally reject, and the many facets of the digital era that we should now be debating.
About the Author
Dr. Mari K. Swingle is a neurotherapist and behavioral specialist who practices at the highly-regarded Swingle Clinic. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, an MA in language education, and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology, and has won numerous awards for her post-doctoral work on the effects of i-technology on brain function.
Foreword Reviews, Barry Silverstein, May 27. 2016 Five Stars This research-based book by a psychoneurophysiologist offers an important examination of the effects of interconnectivity. Anyone who has formed a dependency on a smartphone, tablet, or 24-hour digital connectivity would do well to read i-Minds, Mari K. Swingle's eye-opening, and at times unsettling, book. It is both a palatable, compelling exploration of the impact of digital media on the human brain as well as an impressive piece of research. Using her own clinical observations, Swingle conclusively demonstrates that Internet addiction significantly switches brain function. The point of Swingle's book, however, is to broaden the scope of her observations to encompass everyday users of "i-tech," the author's term for interactive technology, not just those who are addicted--or as she puts it, to examine those who are affected by "technological integration versus technological interference." The author addresses the topic both biologically (what goes on in our brains) and sociologically, from childhood to adulthood. A nice touch is the addition of sections called "Scientific Corner," in which Swingle supports the text with specific references to scientific research. Particularly fascinating is Swingle's discussion of the generation of "i-kids" who have grown up with digital devices. She notes, for example, that some parents "use the medium as an electronic babysitter," and that children who are entrenched in digital media from a young age may be missing out on key developmental experiences, such as live play. The impact of digital media on adults is also covered in the book; Swingle discusses such topics as the Internet's role in sex and sexuality, interpersonal communications, friendships, and community. Some of her observations are powerful and thought-provoking; for example, "We act differently and treat people differently online," and "Every hour we spend on our computers reduces our interpersonal contact by one-half hour and along with it our ability to interpret subtle nonverbal messages. It also makes us progressively socially awkward." While Swingle makes an eloquent case for the fact that i-media is "rewiring our brains," she remains nonjudgmental and scientifically balanced in her perspective. This approach makes i-Minds all the more essential as a contemporary study well worth reading. In this meticulously researched and necessary book Mari Swingle shows how the i-world is hijacking young people's minds and even their brains. Her practical advice guides us to become masters, not servants, of the technology we are bequeathing to our children. --Gabor Mate M.D., co-author, Hold On To Your Kids:Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers and author, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction Dr. Mari Swingle brilliantly explains how digital displays and social media are changing our brains by capturing our evolutionary survival patterns. i-Minds is a must read to understand the impact of our digital revolution and how to use it wisely. She explains why students' attention spans have significantly decreased, ADHD, depression, impulsivity and anxiety have increased, and why students who take notes on digital devices in the classroom (tablets, smart phone or laptops) do significantly worse than those who still write notes on paper. --Erik Peper, PhD, Professor, San Francisco State University, President of the Biofeedback Federation of Europe, co-author, Fighting Cancer: A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment, author of the blog, The Peper Perspective-Ideas on illness, health and well-being. An eye-opener. This book left me speechless. i-Minds made me look inward at my own relationships with people and technology and consider whether I liked the impact instead of just blindly following it. --Rob Krall, host, Bottom up Radio; publisher, OpEdNews; and founder, organizer of the Winter Brain Meeting In this age of screens we're beset with a pack of new emotional and behavioral conundrums. Mari K. Swingle walks us through the fundamentals of these changes with a kindness and clarity I find deeply refreshing. i-Minds is a well-researched guide for teachers and parents keen on understanding the ramifications of our new media climate. --Michael Harris, author, The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection In i-Minds, Mari K. Swingle offers exceptional insights into the emotional and behavioural problems that may arise from living in a 24/7 wired world. She also provides deep insights to those trying to help anyone who's addicted to their digital devices. --Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight i-Minds is more than a book. It's a tool to help us decide when screenbased devices are enriching our lives, and when they're stealing it. If you've looked at your smartphone, checked your social media feed, or distracted your kid with an iPad today, you need to read this book right away.--Jon Cooksey, director, How to Boil a Frog A genuinely original position on a historically significant cultural issue... A scientifically rigorous and philosophically challenging argument that digital media is not merely shaping culture, but also the very nature of the human brain. --Kirkus Reviews This book is a revolution. Dr. Mari Swingle pushes boundaries effectively without pointing fingers at any particular generation. She emphasizes that excessive technological use can put any age group at risk of developing behavioral issues, which is quite original compared to other authors who tend to accuse only the young of using too much i-tech... Her findings are truly extraordinary. --San Francisco Book Review
Introduction1. Technological Integration versus Technological Interference2. The Pull3. The Biological Science - What's Really Going on in Our Brains?4. Boxed In - Anxiety in the Masses5. From Digital Natives to i-Kids6. The Story of Alpha7. The Good, the Bad and the Neutral8. From i-Kids to i-Brains9. Learning, Play, and Parenting - Conflicting Needs in a Busy, Busy World10. Socialization Part A - Child's Play11. Socialization Part B - Adult Play (Sex and Sexuality)12. Community, Communication, Digital Mediation, and Friendship13. i-Addiction - A New World14. Final ThoughtsEpilogueAppendixNotesIndexAbout the Author