Beware Of Constant Entertainment

By Patrick McNerthney 

My favorite thing to do these days is yelling at my kid to get off his phone. There are two excellent reasons I do this:

  1. I hate my phone, so I take it out on his phone.
  2. I fear his brain is turning into mush due to constant entertainment, one finger mash away.

That’s right, constant entertainment + the archetypal effect a crafty mobile phone will elicit in all humans: brain-to-mush.

Scientists who study creativity (dubbed by yours truly: Creatcientists) determined that there’s a part of the brain we use all the time for concentrating and critical thinking that has access to about 11 acres of information. Meanwhile, the sneakier, more fun parts of the brain (way in the back) just kind of hang out and take everything in. And I mean everything—past, present, future, it’s really spooky. Anyway, these “life-of-the-party” parts of the brain have access to somewhere over 28 acres of information. The rub is, they don’t access the 28+ acres right away. Instead, the information kind of percolates over time, then blammo, out comes insight, perspective, an amazing idea. Or in other words, out comes creativity.

(I figure the creative part of our brain looks like this.)

That’s why brainstorming sessions yield the best results well after the session. And why people wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea that they never write down, fall back asleep, then wake up wondering why they didn’t write it down since, if they had, they’d be on the road to riches. 

So you can see the problem: the constant entertainment provided by my archnemesis, the mobile phone, interrupts this process. So the juicy creative bits of my kid’s brain don’t do any percolating, and no great ideas emerge that will one day make me filthy rich…er, make him “successful,” a thought leader–a world changer–and all that. 

But the real deal is, while phones are undoubtedly unhealthy and evil, they’re probably going to end up like television in my day: not a big deal, won’t scramble your brain, only bad for your eyes if you sit four inches from the screen for 72 hours straight.

(Admittedly, I still feel this way about TV.)

HOWEVER. We’re all born creative. 

As messengers of creativity, part of the practice is holding the space that works for us to ideate. This SPACE is the important part, because we all ideate differently. But one way or another, we all need a lightly structured, guided-not-directed space to become sensitive, curious, and open-minded. That openness can be a gateway to meaningful work. And the mobile phone interrupts that.  

Over to you. On the count of three–throw everyone throw your phone out the window. Ready? One…two…three–just kidding! Seriously, I know how you can give your residents and loved ones the space for them to ideate: it’s Fine Art Miracles (FAM)!

FAM knows opportunities for creative expression naturally combat the anxiety and depression anyone needing help with life’s daily tasks still experiences because of social isolation. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Art2Go Packages (May features Mary Cassatt!), and Multi-Sensory Sessions are lightly structured, guided-not-directed space creating tools you can use to give your residents and loved ones a direct path to  their sensitivity, curiosity, and open-mindedness. And while creating, they reconnect with their self-worth, confidence, optimism, hope, and understanding that they MATTER. 

A pretty slick trick, right? So what are you waiting for? Reach out to FAM today to learn more, have any questions answered, and get started. Personally, I think one of the best parts is…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DOWNLOAD AN APP!

Okay, I better get going. My phone went off about 12 times just now. I highly doubt any of the messages are in regard to me winning a mega-million jackpot, but I should probably check them anyway.


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