How the Apes Plan to Take Over the World
One word. Meme-a-thons; this is how I spend my evenings, unwinding, giggling, even bawling sometimes. In the last two years, i have increasingly become a social media addict. That isn't shocking to you because you probably are an addict as well. Lol. I probably watch at the least 45 memes a day!
Well, studies show that the human brain loves being online! We love it! Our brains are like an insatiable trough that craves excitement and amusement. We are constantly looking for the next best thing, the next best meme. We are way past addiction with this internet-social media thing. In 2012, the average time spent on the Internet was about 3-5 hours, a day, now, we are spending about 5-7 hours a day!
This increased use of the internet and being perpetually transfixed on social media is now known to cause a loss of empathy, impaired decision making, and a perpetual adrenaline-high, resulting in mind fatigue.
Here's how: On either side of the cerebral hemispheres in your brain are the insular cortices. The insular controls your consciousness, emotions, empathy, cognition and interpersonal functions in general. In more practical terms, the insular controls your self-consciousness and environmental awareness; it's the reason you cry when your friend mourns, the reason you help when someone is in trouble etc. Studies now show that the increase in media-use causes a direct shrinkage of the insular!
Now here's where I'm going with this, the scary part, the ONLY other creature on earth who has access to the functionality of this insular- this ability to access these higher emotions, is the ape.
The apes show empathy, they cringe, they mourn with members of their family and friends. When a cousin ape falls into a 9-foot ditch, they don't giggle and take out their iPhones to record. When an ape kid gets hit by a car, they don't step over her and send out tweets about how they just witnessed something "absolutely crazy!" They don't have social media, so I'm guessing these apes are definitely not shrinking their insulars away, instead, probably developing this function quite extensively while we run around like zombies poking our phones and laughing intermittently at memes!
Decisions. Decisions. Moderate my nightly meme-a-thons or keep shrinking my brain and let the apes take over?
Of course, I'm not saying we should ditch social media all together, No! I love social media and all those crazy memes but I'm suggesting that we tone it down a bit and save the insular!
Imagine one morning you wake up, you hear a low grunt from the right side of your bed, it's an ape and he's wearing military gear with a side smile, he's holding your phone. He hangs it over your head, taunting you, as you would have taunted him with a banana. In a split second, he throws your phone into a large steel cage sitting in the corner of your room, you look at him, then at the phone, ....Would you jump in? Would I?
From my overactive mind.......