Why You Should Consider Turning Off Your iPod And Putting Your Hiking Boots On(backed by science)
Have you ever spent whole days in front of the screen, doing nothing? Are you one of the people who check their Facebook or Twitter accounts every few minutes? If the answer is YES, your brain might be working under its real potential.
Here is a little quiz for you, look at those three words and find a fourth word that is related to all three – wood, liquor, luck. This is called Remote Associates Test(or RAT) and is used by psychologists to test creativity and intuition. Your mind has to be pretty sharp to answer correctly. Creative people won’t find it difficult to solve those and btw, the answer to the one above is ‘hard’.
A new research suggests that spending time in nature, away from technology can result in significant boost of creativity and problem-solving skills. According to scientists and psychologists, too much screen time can have negative effects on our neural circuitry.
Scientists from the University of Utah found that four days in nature could result in up to 50% higher scores on tests that demand creativity. 56 people with an average age of 28 participated in the study. They went on electronics-free hiking trips in Alaska, Maine and Colorado. Before the trip 24 of the participants took creativity tests, while the other 32 took them in the end of the four-day hiking trips.
The researchers were amazed by the results. Those who took the test later on the trip scored much higher than the ones who took it before.
The scientists were not sure if the difference was due to being unplugged from gadgets or due to being in nature, but a research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin connected colour green to creativity. According to the article seeing the colour green before being given creative task results in more imaginative answers/solutions, compared to other colours.
Did you know that the average American child spends 15 to 25 minutes playing outside and over seven and a half hours in front of the screen. Four out of five 5-year-olds use computers or tablets, 45% of the kids over 6 own a smartphone. Few researchers have studied the impact of electronic devices on children’s social skills and if you dig into the subject you’d think twice before buying your daughter a shiny new iPad for Christmas, yes, it is a cheap babysitter, but it fails at teaching children how to deal with emotions and real life situations.
Are we turning into a meme-generation that can not understand art other than lol-cat GIFs? Are our brains adjusted to reading/writing texts no longer than 140 characters? We can not live without electronics in XXI century, but we should not become slaves to technology. Do not try to find time to spend in nature, make that time, because the busier you are, the more you need it.
You won’t find WiFi in most forests, but you could find an even better connection there.