Monday, 14 June 2010

Will evolution lead to an annex in our brains?

You know how evolution has adjusted our bodies to our needs. The most evident change being our vertical posture which implies walking on two feet, although my body resents this fact and hunches back into dangling arms position by the end of the day, maybe I evolve at a slower pace than the rest or I've ended in the wrong era.

In any case, I've been wondering if evolution will head towards an additional section in our brains. For some time now I've spent time with people who have this protuberance coming out of their hand. It's not an extra thumb or pinky finger, it's called a mobile, smartphone or iphone. These people have incredible skills with this bulge, they can eat with it in their hand, they can watch telly, drink coffee, drive, and  I wouldn't be surprised if it shares places with the sponge in the bath.

However, some people have more developed skills than others. Some are more limited and they can only nod while they fidget with their protuberance (um, still talking about their phone here), this is fine, because the person opposite them thinks they are listening to them, but others can even nod AND answer back while their fingers type these tiny keys on it.

How do they do it? It can only be because they've grown an additional section in their brain. There can't be any other explanation. These people have an advantage over the other less developed people who simply stop reacting to your conversation while their gaze is fixed on the little screen of their bulge and thumbs race over the keypad, which leaves you feeling as the most boring person on Earth. But don't worry, you're not that boring, you just can't compete with the world surfacing from that screen: web contents, blogs, twitter, email, online shopping...

I want this additional section in my brain. Where do I get one? Can you buy iBrain attachments? I wouldn't mind an extra memory card for my brain either. It would be so convenient for multitasking and I'd get so much more done in my too-short 24 hour day.

Have you evolved into the iPeople or smartpeople race or are you lagging behind like me in the under-construction-race?


  1. Ha ha, great post to wake up to this morning! I am of the Smartpeople race. My little smartphone is attached to me almost all of the time. I am one of those who can stay in a conversation completely, and not miss a word.

    You do not want this additional section. It starts to define you as a person, and I think there is something about not having it... Simplicity maybe..being able to hold a conversation without something vibrating or playing music every few minutes. Lost are the days of getting together with friends, because you can communicate so easily through text and emails, and now social networks. I would't give up my additional section, but must admit, some days it would be nice to not have it!

  2. I am fully conversant with everything web-related and have been since well before most people, late husband having been one of the first Apple Trainers in this country and me having written for Which Computer since the advent of the desktop computer. I use FB, Twitter, online e-groups and a mobile phone.

    BUT - I object violently to those poor unfortunates to whom you refer whose attention is riveted on their protuberances. Do they know how rude they're being? Did their mothers never tell them? At least my children (all iphone generation)ask me to hang on a minute while they finish texting! then I get their full attention. Sometimes (gasp!) they even stop texting!

    Go on, now you can disown me at the conference...

  3. Kristy, you've got a last generation brain then!

    Lesley, when this happens to me, I always remember
    my mum and gran saying, "you don't read at the table" and I'm passing it on to my children, but I'll have to adjust it to "you don't read or text at the table".

  4. But once you live on your own, you can do what you like! And I bet they will, too!

  5. Lesley, Yes, I read at the table when I'm on my own. I still look around me expecting to get a slap on the back of my neck.

  6. I'm lagging behind in the phone area. I didn't even get my own cell phone until I was nearly 21, when most of my friends had theirs since they were 16. I don't like cell phones. I think they're annoying! People expect you to always have it on you and get mad when you don't answer the phone right away. I guess I'm just one of those rare people who has a life unattached to my phone! I think cell phones have made people more rude than they were before. And the sad thing is most people don't even realize they're being so rude.

  7. I have occasionally caught myself texting back to someone while I'm out with friends without even stopping to explain. I must stop doing it. It's rude. I went into a shop recently and the owner talked on his protuberance the whole time he was serving me. He even mouthed 'goodbye' to me so he wouldn't upset his phone friend. I've never been in there again.

  8. Laura, I like cell phones, I think they're useful and I feel lost when I run out of battery, but we should know how to use it without annoying other people.

    Rosalind, I've suffered that too. A girl talking to her fried about some boyfriend and didn't even look at me while I was paying. I felt like dumping the article and walking out, but knew she wouldn't care less.

  9. An iBrain attachment. An awesome, yet terrifying thought! But it's definitely going to happen in the future, a la Ghost in the Shell, where people can literally access the net and communicate with someone as if by phone through their brain.

    I'm sort of in the middle on this. I'm not lagging behind, but I'm not an uber-fast texter or technological whiz either. And I hate the idea of spending a lot of time talking on my phone, and what's worse is breaking up with somebody over the phone! How pathetic and rude could you be?

  10. I want an iBrain too! Maybe it can help me write more? Better? Faster?

  11. I'm of the old fogey generation, I think. I refuse to let technology spoil good conversations and contact with the human race!

  12. Amanda and Talli, we should suggest it to Apple, they won't take that long to invent the iBrain.

    India, I think I'll keep conversations with you then.

  13. I hate being at people's beck and call - or rather, I hate that anyone thinks they have a right to my time when THEY decide. So I endeavour to never do phones. Some people get funny about it but then I feel I have the right to get funny if they don't do email or text instead.

    Either way, if I'm going to communicate with someone I want to do it wholeheartedly, so I don't want the iBrain. Nor do I want to communicate with someone who is using their iBrain. They can switch it off for a while just like I switch off the TV when I have visitors. (Well - I would if I had one. I would. Honest.)

  14. An award for you! At my blog! As thanks for awarding me my first ever award! :D

    And because I think you and your blog are awesome!

  15. montyandrosie, you certainly got off on the wrong era!! Did you fall asleep on the bus and miss a whole century? No TV or phone, which just shows your incredibly rich inner world.

    Amanda, thanks for the award and even bigger thanks for saying it's awesome!!


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