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Ted Dot Com, TED, Dr Sandy Man discussed on TED Radio Hour



Stage. I started talking to neuro scientists and cognitive psychologists and what they told me was fascinating it turns out that when you get bored you ignite a network in your brain called the default mode so our body. It goes on autopilot while we're folding the laundry or we're walking to work actually. That is when our brain gets really busy. Here's boredom researcher. Dr Sandy man wants to start daydreaming and allow you to really wonder you start thinking a little bit beyond the conscious a little bit into the subconscious which allows sort of different connections to take place. It's really awesome. Actually totally awesome right. So this is my brain and FM Ri. And I learned that in the default mode that is when we connect disparate ideas. We saw some of our most nagging problems and we do something called autobiographical planning. This is when we look back at our lives. We take note of the big moments. We create a personal narrative and then we set goals and we figure out what steps we need to take to reach them but now we chill out on the couch also while updating a Google doc. Who are replying to email. The average person checks email seventy four times a day and switches tasks on their computer. Five hundred and sixty six times a day. I discovered all this talking to professor of Informatics Dr Gloria Mark. So we find that when people are stressed. They tend to shift their attention. More rapidly We also found strangely enough. We find that the shorter amount of sleep that a person gets the more likely they are to check facebook. Were in this vicious habitual cycle. What could this cycle be broken like? What would happen? If we broke this vicious cycle what if we reclaim those cracks in our day? Could it help us? Jumpstart our creativity. Maybe my listeners could help me find out we call the project board and Brilliance and Within Forty eight hours twenty thousand people signed by. Yeah I was like. Oh not a special snowflake. This is a thing. People are feeling this so one day. Take the APP that your thumb always seems to gravitate towards take it off your phone and observe what it feels like and then decide. Do you want it back on your phone? Cool go forward if you do. But do not let the tech companies decide as their decision making. Don't let that be the default which it very much has become. I think for consumers so how tens of thousands of people who signed up for the challenge. Some of them called her up because they started to realize that their relationship with their phone had kind of become co dependent the relationship between a baby and teddy bear or a baby. Banke or a baby that wants its mother's cradle when its done being held by stranger that's the relationship between me and my I think of my phone leg power tool useful but dangerous if I'm not handling it properly if I don't pay close attention I'll suddenly realize that I've lost an hour of time. Doing something totally mindless okay. But to really measure any improvement we needed data right. Because that's what we do these days so we partnered with some APPs that would measure how much time we were spending every day on our phone. And if you're thinking it's ironic that I ask people to download another APP so that they would spend less time on their phones. Yeah you gotTa meet people where they are but when the data came in it turned out that we had cut down on average just six minutes from one hundred and twenty minutes a day on our phones to one hundred and fourteen look amazing that you you got so many people involved and then looks at the data and turned out. The people just saved six minutes a day. Don't just sort of like like deflating right. I mean after all this effort people are only sixty six minutes a day. Which tells US something about ourselves? Yeah I mean well first of all it tells me that I have been trained to expect. Tax Returns Right. You know. We expecting huge numbers. And I I thought six minutes was nothing but when I went back to the scientists and researchers were who were advising me on this they I'm not joking. They laughed in my face. They were like who says six minutes isn't significant. And frankly like you know the fact that you got people to change their behavior at all over a week is extraordinary and listen to the stories because the stories will tell you so much more than any data can And that's what people told me. They told me stories about how they realize. They used to relax by playing their guitar and then they suddenly understood that they they hadn't played it in years or things bigger than that That people had sat down this thought. About what the family dynamics were and get to a better place in their relationship there were all these amazing stories that people told us and I thought you know what you're right. F The six minutes right. Get totally or like. Let's stop giving boredom such a bad rap. It actually is an extremely important human function that we are starting to just sort of breed out of our daily lives. And I I sort of look around and I see. There's lots of things like that Downtime eye contact conversations out loud where people stutter or make mistakes or take more than a quick. You know one hundred forty characters to figure out what they want to say. We've lost the capacity in many ways. I think for patients if we want to have excellent ideas the best ideas we need to let them take the time to take root and then blossom and that does not happen in a tap of a of an APP. We're humans we need. I'm and that's the one thing that our phones and it was more of that was me minutia. The new host of Ted Radio Hour talking to guy. Ross the old host Ted Radio Hour back in two thousand eighteen. You can see my full Ted talk on Ted Dot Com and we've got a new episode of the Ted Radio Hour for you coming this Friday..

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