Bacon and fried humans

Written by Martin Lucas

Would you like to unlock more innovative and creative thinking in yourself?

Good. Let’s examine one the biggest blockers holding you back in today's world.

Do you ever feel tired at the end of a day?

Mentally tired, just dead on your feet and just can’t process one more thought; you just cannot think about anything else?

This occurs for a very good reason. You are over capacity. Here is how it came to be.

Your brain needs time after something happens to process it. It’s a very literal thing, like when you have a conversation and a little while later you connect the dots and think ‘oh, that’s what they were getting at’. Super practical, like all animals, we have a social structure in our lives and in the case of humans that is 30% what we say and 70% non-verbal and that’s a lot to process on its own.

How we got here

For 50,000,000 million or so years our brains processed on a human to human in-person basis. Then we invented the telephone and our social structure changed and despite the convenience it was actually more taxing on the brain to process a phone call than a human-to-human interaction as we could not read the person's emotions with our sight; it reduced our senses and had us working hard to understand and therefore process interactions.

The way we communicate has evolved quicker - but not that much faster - than how we access information. What used to be based on your book collection, daily paper and the library is now a myriad of devices serving you a myriad of websites serving you a myriad of bias.

The way we communicate and access information has also been given the same lease of life as the phone brought us, with audio and visual entertainment rising. It was not that long ago that all the home had was one radio, then one TV and, well, you can look around your own home and make the count for yourself. It’s a lot of devices sending a LOT of data at you.

This amount of consumption is indeed decreasing our attention spans and the reason for this is that we need shorter, more bite-sized moments in order to process it. Too many things, too much data and our brain cannot cope; it literally mentally drains you.

Did you know

It takes 20 minutes for the brain to process a phone call AFTER the call is finished. It's true. The neuroscience is very practical as a phone call has many different data points and thus thinking points:

  • Each human communicates differently; every single one of us has nuances in what we say.
  • We communicate directly.
  • We communicate indirectly.
  • A phone call has no facial recognition so it takes longer to process the tone.
  • We are conscious beings; we have to think about everything.
  • We are selfish by nature; we have to consider our survival and that manifests even in our happy chit chat.
  • Your brain is designed to keep you safe and efficient. Most of this processing is unconscious; it’s only when the brain thinks there is an issue or outcome that it sends a message to your conscious mind:

I think she was annoyed; what should we do?

I think this is what he was actually saying. Take action.

Now, that’s a single phone call. Let’s play a guessing game and run a typical day for you:

How many times do you look at Facebook?

How long do you spend on Twitter?

How much interaction to you send to Instagrammers?

How many texts & whatsapp messages do you interact with?

How many emails do you read, respond to and get annoyed at?

How many times do you open your mobile browser?

How many articles and pieces of news do you take in?

How much streaming (and old school) TV do you watch?

How much old school reading do you do?

It’s too much for a brain to process; that is the simple fact. We are fying our own brains day in day out. There is no evolution that occurs in the brain that means that any generation can cope with this; it’s only been 25 years since this change started coming at us and evolution takes hundreds  of years, if not thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

If you want to unleash the best, most creative, innovative animal you have inside then it's time to see the truth of technology consumption. Switch it off, do less and you will gain much more.

We use this analysis when working on culture and marketing; the connection is measuring what you are asking your customers (employees, truly as customers) to do. When we take away the deep-fried needless stuff, we always win and you can too: simplify and win.

Then YOU can make bacon and fried human jokes to the unaware :).