Is technology making us dumber or better? The answer is YES!! ? While you can’t deny the pros of using technology, I still believe that technology is making us dumber. Having access to all this technology right at our fingertips requires us to think less. One negative side effect of relying on technology is that the brain is not being challenged as frequently has it has been in the past to keep information handy.
Prior to cell phones I had to memorize my home phone number, my work phone number, the numbers for my family and friends…you get the idea, and likely can relate. These days we don’t need to remember any of that, it’s all in our phones, easily accessible with a few taps on the screen. We no longer use our brainpower to remember these phone numbers and when you don’t use something it does not grow; in fact, it becomes weaker.
When I was working towards my MBA one of the required classes was statistics. All the tests were open book and my initial thought was: JACKPOT!!! The reason was due the amount of formulas we needed to know. The professor’s philosophy was that there were calculators and other technologies that would give us the answer (once again using technology and not flexing my brain). In this case though the challenge was in understanding what the answers meant; in other words using my brain to understand and deduce. The same is true of technology: it makes hard work easier, therefore leaving us more time to look at the answers more deeply.
So, back to my initial question: Is technology making us dumber or better? I say the answer is YES to both. While I believe that technology has made us dumber in some ways, I also believe that technology is making us better simultaneously.
Studies have shown that we only use a part of our brain; since our ability is limited, we only have capacity for so much, so why use it for mundane things like phone numbers and formulas? This also why Steve Jobs wore the same outfit and many elite performers eat the same thing; it’s one less thing to think about.
Personally, technology has also given me the ability to process things faster and understand them better, thus making me wiser. As we move into the future, technology will become more and more prevalent. We need to find a way to balance the ease and advantages that tech gives us, while still challenging ourselves mentally.
“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.”- B.F. Skinner
What do you think? Has technology made you dumber or wiser? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have a great weekend.