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Monday, March 18, 2013

Technology making us dumb?

I have always wondering if the world of today is better than the world of yesterday. The influx of technology has greatly influenced our lives but we live in a world that is so connected and accessible that we are losing independent thought. We have now come to rely on technology so much that I fear we starting to lose our curiousness in obtaining information.

In a certain light, I miss the old days, everything was a bit slowly than today. Maybe it is because of more responsibility and less time to have fun but back in the old days (1990's) the lifestyle was just slower. I like the fact that we had to go to the library to do research and that was one of the dominate ways to find information, unlike today where get the answer to anything with a single click, it loses some of its value. I mean if we traveled a couple of miles and dug around for an hour or two for the answer you inherently value the information more than if it was more easily accessible. We have lost value in the discovery of information but gained speed in obtaining it.

One of the great joys in life for me is figuring out how things work, whether it be mechanical, societal, or psychological. But it takes a lot of time and we need to observe it, study it, and create a hypothesis on it. That usually requires a lot of effort, an effort that we are less and less likely to go through, at least formally. The easier way is to search for it online somewhere and that is mostly likely as much effort we are likely to put in. There are many people of our generation including myself that rely on the internet way too much and use it as a crutch as if, there are no other way to do things without going online. I am not saying that we should ban the net or stop people from googling, but I think we should stop ourselves first and figure out if we can do it ourselves before consulting master google.

It really helps us in the long run if we can problem solve and figure things out independently before we go for the quick answer. It makes us value the process of obtaining that knowledge and it will help us remember it better as well. I see too many people pull out their calculators for easy calculations (I am talking about 10*30=300). People's mind just default to using a calculator when they find a math problem and don't even realize how easy it is just to do it yourself. Math is one of the easiest things to forget when you haven't done it for a while. It is a bit sad and tragic that all it takes is a minute and a pencil and paper to figure it out, we do need technology for something that simple unless you have an excel sheet size project.

While the world is easier with technology we have to be very careful with how we interact with it on a daily basis. We can too easily rely on it for everything and not understand what we are losing in the process. As a heavy tech user myself, I have to stop myself sometimes and realize that I can figure things out myself rather than just googling the answer.

Discover the wonders of your own brain and google less my friends! :)

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