Technology has come further in the past few decades than in the past hundred years. People can be catapulted into space; converse with others hundreds of miles away; buy and sell anything at the click of the button. The uses for technology are astronomical – but is there a way that we can use technology to better ourselves? Now we’re not talking being able to digest all of Gray’s Anatomy in one sitting. We’re talking about the little things we can use today’s technology for in order to enhance our brainpower.
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Learning a language can be a daunting task, but there is evidence that it can enhance brainpower –a York University researcher discovered that knowing two languages delayed dementia by 5 years. Indeed, speaking different languages force us to solve several mini problems in order to make ourselves understood. The task of learning a new language can be minimised with specialized apps. By making a small amount of progress every day, the daunting element of the task is reduced. For example, Duolingo offers progress updates, while HelloTalk gives the opportunity to converse with actual native speakers – enhancing one another’s language abilities through the internet.
Learning to play poker can already set your brain ahead of others in terms of assessing risks and strategizing. In fact, poker can even improve emotional intelligence and strengthen the neuroplasticity in the brain. Poker forces players to hone their focus and the nature of the game naturally develops abilities in not just bluffing and containing your own emotions, but in identifying when others around you are being dishonest. Playing home games is one thing, but learning to play poker online allows users to switch between with many different variations – for example Texas Hold’em requires a lot of concentration and is slower to master while with SNAP Poker players must make quick decisions. There’s also an option to play with live dealers, which gives a more realistic taste of the game and brings a more social element to online play.
Learning to program a computer may actually be commonplace in schools nowadays, but there is a great portion of the population who remain clueless. Cited as a must-have skill in the years to come, the technology available can actually allow us to learn easily and even be part of the next wave of genius technological advances. Programming devices, such as the Raspberry Pi mini-computer, allows people to learn complex coding from scratch, which enhances the spatial reasoning aspects of the brain.
Traditional book lovers may scoff at those who use a tablet to read a book, but the ease at which novels can be downloaded and consumed may actually make us smarter. Reading enhances fluid and emotional intelligence and by refining the reading process, those previously uninterested may develop a newfound passion for the pages. Especially so with a range of speed reading apps that allow readers to go through book after book at a quicker rate. Technology has improved commuting probably more so than anything else. With such a range of podcasts, talks, and inspirational lectures available to download, the time spent gazing out of the bus window can be turned into time improving your brainpower.
In a world where we are become reliant to technology to help enhance our lives physically, why not also utilise what technology and the connected world of the internet offer in terms of improving our brains. From the wealth of information available to the range of key skills that can be enhanced through online activities, technology really can open doors in unsuspecting ways.