Can you build your brain by surfing the net?

It appears that surfing the Internet can help keep your brain healthy. A study found that folks can keep their brains sharp by surfing. Surfing provided better brain-building than reading. Getting lost on the Internet may be an effective tool for middle-aged and older folks to keep their brains sharp. Of course, I figure that I am close enough to middle age that these findings apply to me as well. Like I need encouragement.

This result is kind of like buying organic ice cream because the cow may have been eating grass and that ice cream may have a higher content of the body-slimming and health-improving fat conjugated linoleic acid. You might even argue that ice cream fights depression. I am all for this sort of rationalization in appropriate doses.

It does appear, however, that there are probably better ways to sharpen our brains. We could sit down with friends and play games like Parcheesi or Mancala, some of this family’s favorite games. They work your brain and you get some social interaction at the same time. If no friends are around, you could play Rush Hour, one that is very effective in keeping my brain focused. These activities require more focused gray matter and may well keep your brain even sharper than it would be surfing the Internet. Furthermore, the games fit my whole goal of keeping my brain focused on something other than life’s current anxieties (the Internet doesn’t likely do as well in this department). I’ve mentioned a number of times here that I find it effective in troubled times to engage in an activity that requires brain power so that my brain is focused on the activity, not on the troubled times. Rush Hour is a good one for me, so is my site on data for California public schools.

But before working on graphic displays of school data, I just need to check on one small thing online… I’ll be back to data after about two hours of brain sharpening. ;)

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