In my thirty year experiment with the effects of yoga and meditation and not yoga and meditation, I recently
came to this conclusion. My addiction to my twitter feed has the opposite effect on my brain as meditation does.
Neuroscience has shown that our brain structure is plastic well into aging years. We don't gain any more cells, but we gain or lose connections based on what we do all the time, our habits. An athlete is optimally wired in her brain for all the activities needed to process and discern for the best athletic outcome. A math nerd has different connections which optimize her thinking and processing skills. A regular meditator optimizes parts of the brain that increases focus, spacious consideration (like emotional ones), and it trains the physical part of the brain the skill of being still.
I always used to be concerned about my kids on their game consoles and how it was wiring their brains so differently than the kids of my era. Turns out it served them well. However as I thought about my increasing addiction to Twitter, I wondered what effect it was having on rewiring My brain. At first, it was an occasional scan to see what was up in the world. Now I find myself on every car ride where I am not driving, glued to the tiny screen in my hand. Reading 140 characters, a quick scan of the picture, a decision to click and read or not, moving on to the next and eventually my finger has to move the screen up. Over and over again. Driving too and from NY I could be on for 45 minutes or more. And this happens at least once or twice per day, plus a few check ins of shorter time lengths.
So in comparing that 45 minutes of twitter to 45 minutes of meditation I came to a shocking conclusion. Twitter is the opposite of meditation. The regular practice of meditation over the years has brought calmness,
less reactivity to life's situations, focus and concentration, contentment and so many other beneficial things. I think I will choose meditation.