💬 Issue #38 - I Was So Much Older Then
Memories and snails, jobs and paychecks, teens and phones
It’s a Friday grab bag at EiT headquarters: snail brains, they might be just like us!; a classic 9-to-5 might be key to the life you want; and teenagers are definitely drowning in notification overload.
OLD SNAIL, NEW TRICKS
Scientists working with snails have pinpointed how memories help determine an organism’s perception of future events, and the creation of memories of those events.
If your own memory is pinging, “Hey, didn’t I come across something about snails and memory before?” Congratulations on remembering something from 2018, and no, this is not that. This study, published in Science Advances, used “strong” and “weak” training events to track how snails’ memories affected their future positive associations with banana water (hey, we all have our weaknesses).
Long-term memory takes a lot of energy, says the study’s lead author. “To conserve resources, a brain must therefore be able to distinguish when it’s worth the cost to form a memory and when it’s not.” Scientists determined that there’s a window of critical learning time after a “strong” training or memory, and this could have implications for the way we understand and optimize human learning and retention.
To solidify your own memory of reading this newsletter, and because we failed to find footage of a snail singing “Memory,” here’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, singing “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
J.O.B. GET THE MONEY
Don’t call it a comeback, it’ll be here for years. As Simone Stolzoff, author of The Good Enough Job, argues, the traditional 9-to-5 has taken a cultural beating in recent years, but it has something pretty great going for it: a paycheck!
Obvious perhaps, but especially for overleveraged solopreneurs or exhausted freelancers, a reliable paycheck is nothing to sniff at. Stolzoff highlights other benefits of a J-O-B: the ability to make a larger impact when you’re part of team (team camaraderie can also increase motivation when your own intrinsic motivation is low); the blessed relief of constraints on your responsibilities (you don’t have to be CEO, HR, CPA, and the sales team); and the freedom to think of other interests and creative pursuits outside of work. Just be careful not to turn that rewarding hobby into a second job.
Scene: a suburban home at night. The camera dollies through the open gate of a short fence. Cut to a digital clock: 3:30 a.m. The sound of a single push notification. Close up on a middle-aged woman who opens her eyes. A second notification. A look of confusion crosses her face. She gets out of bed and walks down the hallway as the notifications grow closer and closer together, louder and louder, cascading into a sound resembling an Atlantic City casino. Flashing lights are visible from the gap beneath a closed door. She tentatively pushes the door open as the sounds of a slot machine morph into pizzicato screeching violins. As the door opens, we see familiar red hair and overalls. Chucky’s fingers are lovingly scrolling an iPhone. Aware of the presence behind him, he slowly turns toward the camera. The woman screams as she looks into his uncanny blue eyes, pulsing checkmarks in place of pupils.
Horror flick or ordinary life? A new report from Common Sense Media makes it clear that the pings are coming from inside the house. According to its authors, “about half of 11- to 17-year-olds get at least 237 notifications on their phones every day,” some getting upwards of 5,000. Eek!!! Fifty-nine percent of these kids are online between midnight and 5 a.m.
Experts at Common Sense Media recommend parents talk to their teens and tweens in more depth about their social media use (What apps do you like? Who do you like to follow?, etc) to better understand the central role these devices have in many kids’ lives. Parents also need to be upfront about their own relationship to their phones and media. Kids and parents can set up tools together to limit screetime and notifications, helping the whole family rest easy.
– NBC News
ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERNETS
YESTERYEAR TECH OF THE WEEK
See ya next week,
– The EiT crew at Status Hero