Technology is a wonderful thing. I am addicted to social media and my smartphone might as well be surgically attached to my hand. I am in no way bashing the advancement of technology in society, in fact, I find it fascinating how far we have come in such little time.
But (there’s always a but), I am surprised at what I see on a daily basis while using this technology, and it makes me wonder – are we helping, or hurting ourselves?
It’s no secret that Generation Y’s attention span is shorter tha…wait, I just saw something shiny…
Anyway, moving on: Our attention spans are shorter, our entitlement and want for instant answers and information is far greater. As a grammar fanatic my head nearly explodes every single day when I see “adults” using grammar that would make a third grader shake their head (Thanks for making us shove thoughts into 140 characters, Twitter). Math? Forget it, that’s what calculators are for…
Slowly, but surely, we are becoming more and more dependent on these tools and less able to think for ourselves. The absolute irony about this is that nearly every piece of information known to mankind is now available within minutes, for free, on your interweb machine. Or, on your phone no matter where you are. Dare I say it – with all of this available, ignorance is a choice.
I know I make myself sound old when I say this but when I was in high school I had a hard enough time paying attention or putting full concentration into the subject matter as it was – and that was before the time of Facebook or smart phones. We had MySpace and AIM, but many many fewer of us were using them during class, as I can imagine the case is now.
On the flip side, as I mentioned earlier, it’s far easier to access information and learn about any topic from any side of the world, in minutes. I have a link to over 700 online ivy league university courses, for free (Tweet me at @JamesMSama if you want it). The internet is full of resources to learn anything you want.
I think this will continue to separate us. The class war and elimination of the middle class is a completely different issue than this, but, now those who want to advance themselves have the tools to do so like never before, and those who don’t can easily find themselves in an unfavorable situation.
I am the most guilty of never unplugging, but I really think that each of us should commit to taking a little time every day, or every week, and do just that. Go outside. Go for a hike. Take a walk. Connect with the world. Learn something new. Read a book.