advancements making us smart or lazyThe debate on how technology is affecting us rages on. Technological advancements have been so rapid in the last few decades many research scientists feel most people are becoming somewhat machinelike themselves in how they live and react. It seems as though technological evolution has seeped into human consciousness to such an extent that it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate between humans and computer simulations. Technology has made life incredibly easy and each passing day makes things easier still, such has been the rate of progress in every industry.
But the almighty question: whether all this progress is actually having a detrimental effect on humans is still up for debate. Is technology making us lazy and stunted? Or is it making us lives better than our ancestors did? Let’s delve into this topic a little deeper.
The case for technology being a detriment
In every positive effect that technology has made, there has also been a negative side to it. Here are a few negative qualities that technology has instilled within us.
GPS has destroyed our map reading skills
Today it is impossible to get lost because satellite technology aids us every step of the way, and now with wireless internet connection and range so good, GPS is available in far-flung places. Gone are the days of looking at physical maps and stopping to ask for directions. But it seems people are becoming way too dependent on their AI friends- many young folks have a hard time even figuring out basic maps or terrains. With voice assist it has become even more tempting to simply leave all sense of direction to a computer.
Improvement in knowledge
Look at education as an example: education has been transformed with the internet. There is more knowledge available online than ever before. Be it history or math, languages or chemistry from kindergarten kids to adult students in community colleges they have everything available at their command. Kids are smarter than ever before and it is all down to the technological innovation and progress made in the information sector and computing.
Effect of technology on our cognitive abilities
Driving is still an outdoor activity, what about the advent of Google as our mentors in our boardrooms and bedrooms? Anything that one needs to find out can be found by the use of a search engine. In theory and even practically it sounds amazing but the unfortunate truth is that this is making the masses, especially the younger generation stunted in many basic cognitive adaptations that the human brain is naturally made to do. They lack intuition and imagination and learning by observing or even asking others is long becoming a thing of the past. Again this not only makes the masses intellectually stunted, it is affecting their natural learning abilities, which are being curbed.
The case for technology being a boon
On the other hand life is indeed better today thanks to technology. One could argue that it has bettered us in every aspect of life- we live longer, have a far bigger source of information and knowledge than ever before in our history and seem to live better lives than our predecessors.
Smart technology making people lazier
There are other examples such as online shopping and the advent of home automation which has resulted in more people leaving everything to their machines and unknowingly becoming lazier and passive with each passing day and year. Progress in the form of speed and efficiency has come at the cost of a loss of natural abilities and it is getting worse.
Simplification of complex real time issues
And for all of GPS’s concerns that people are losing their intuitive skills there is no denying how important this technology has been to humans recently. Every tech industry from healthcare to airlines has been tremendously affected by technological progress. A job, as important as air traffic control for example has been made much easier ever since the automated features have been implemented. And we haven’t even considered the autopilot technology that has helped curb human related errors to almost negligible.
A boost to businesses
With the advent of the internet it has become easier to sell ideas and start businesses with applications like go fund me and kickstarter, which would never have been possible a decade ago.
So is technology making us smarter or lazier? Maybe a little bit of both but we will wait and see.