Technology is truly a modern wonder and there is certainly a lot that we can get from it and it helps us on many levels: saving time and making things more efficient for all those concerned. My husband, who is really into all of the tech kind of stuff, got me thinking: what are the negatives of technology?
Technology certainly changes the way that our brains value information and it certainly makes us lazy in a sense. You can just type something in on the internet and then get an asnwer for it instantly. This infers that the internet is just a database of information which is constantly proving answers and solutions to our everyday issues and occurences. You might get answers but will you actually remember those answers? It is doubtful that you will store them in your brain long-term. Our long-term memory allows us to recall a multitude of concepts, but out short-term memory is where all sorts of things are dumped and you don’t really recall the things that are shoved here.
This lack of short-term memory that we have is undoubtedly influenced by the internet in that it teaches us that when we require the answer to a problem, we just look the answer up online. This requires little thought or effort, we do not have to really remember stuff now, it just has the internet as an ‘external hard drive’ which allows us toaccess things and store information instead of holding it ourselves.
If you think about it, how many people actually know their phone number these days or anyone else’s for that matter? Probably not many and only those with the sharpest memories will recall their phone number. Our phone stores this information digitally and then we can just access this with the click of a button. It is certain that my husband does not know my phone number and I do not know his.
To really have a long-term memory we just have to be able to pay attention to detail and remember things. With the wealth of applications that we have which are proliferated with ads and other distractions, it becomes hard to cultivate long-term memory as we are leadastray by other things. This can lead to digital information overload where our brains become so overloaded with information that we just start to over-fill and cannot process any new information.
Finally, technology helps us to become more productive by allowing us to multi-task and become more efficient. This multi-tasking may be helpful in some aspects, but most of the time it constrains our ability to remember things long term and keep our cognition in check.Understandably, research demonstrates that people who multi-task whilst doing schoolwork retain less of the information that they are presented with,because your neural circuits(things which store memory) work at a lower capacity when you are multi-tasking so you do not learn as much as you should. So whilst multi-tasking may make us more efficient, it certainly does not make your brain any more efficient. The urge to pick up a book and switch off the computer is quite powerful after writing this article.
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