Technology is Much Likely Making The Society Stupid
Feb 14, 2017 03:31 AM EST
While technology has brought a great deal of merry-making in our lives, it is good to take a pause and look back at the extent to which the advent of modern technology has made us a little slow and dull in mind. In a subtler way, and possibly more disastrous way, technology is encouraging the society to be "stupid".
The internet has only been around some 20-odd years, yet it's hard to imagine life without it. We make no mistake in demonizing the Web, and our dependence on it has evolved to an obsessively sinister side - turning our thoughts into a scattered and superficial mess with its constant distractions.
Having said that, attention spam, or you can call it, "can't go a minute without checking my texts", is likely the most serious drawback of technology. Being always connected to the world through technology, especially through social media accounts, has become almost as habitual as breathing.
An experiment at Stanford University, indicates that our thoughts become disjointed with increased levels of distractions and multitasking. When we're constantly interrupted and distracted, our brains are less able to forge the neural connections that give distinctiveness and depth to our thinking, making us less capable in distinguishing important information from the trivial stuff.
Nicholas Charr, the author of "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains" has taken notice of this at a much earlier time. He explained that the medium of internet changes the message and our brains, and rewires our mind into a distracted shallow thinking.
His explanation brings us to another drawback in the list - we can barely navigate the internet without coming across fake news. The Next Web said that the flair for the dramatic, shiny and creative news have become the norm to gain traffic, leaving people obsessed with misleading news, and not being able to tell the difference between a fake news website and a decent online source.
Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, wrote that only when we pay close attention to real information are we able to associate it "meaningfully and systematically with knowledge already well established in memory". Such associations built in truth, are essential to mastering complex concepts and critical thinking.
As technology advances and social media algorithms continue to artificially develop our thinking, we will continue to live in an echo-chamber of our opinion and those that think like us. However, we can choose as a society to keep ourselves informed and educated, instead of becoming subtly "stupid" from the influence and dependence upon technology.