Thought and Technology

9 September 2016

Computers Are Changing The Way Humans Think Columbia Southern University Us as humans continually turn back to computers and technology to assist us with our informational demands of the current modernized lifestyle we all are living today. Technology and computers essentially provides us with an outlet for research and information that gives us a chance to delve deeper into topics for additional information. As computers and modern advances in technology becomes increasingly intertwined within our daily lifestyles, the question we must ask ourselves is, what are the negative impacts of our increased dependence of computers?

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Are computers affecting our intelligence as a society? We consistently resort back to the computer and technology for every problem that we may encounter which makes our brains and thought process able to relax and rely heavily on computers. Although computers at times can be very helpful and convenient for us, it allows society to decrease our ability to analyze topics, deliberate, and think critically. There are also many social media websites that have a huge negative impact and bad influences towards all age groups, especially targeting the younger users.

As computers and technology continues to become more connected within our daily lifestyles, it is negatively shaping our way of processing and interpreting information. Essentially, the way we are currently using computers and technology is reducing our abilities and desires to think, be inquisitive, comprehend, and to retain information. So although the use of computers and modern advances of technology has rapidly increased, it has had a negative impact towards the current society and the generations to come.

Today’s society has become so reliant on technology and computer use that we now lack personnel interaction and simple thought process. Review of literature In today’s society we are constantly surrounded by technology. It’s being taught in schools, it’s being viewed on television, and it’s heavily relied on at social medial events. As critical as technology is in our society one would believe that it would be more of a help then hindrance, especially for our children. However, there are few that argue this fact.

Some individuals believe that relying so heavily upon technology is weakening a child’s thought process and they’re losing human interaction. Among the studies, Patricia Greenfield’s article titled “Is Technology Producing a Decline in Critical thinking And Analysis? ” (2009), analyzed was a classroom study showing that students who were given access to the Internet during class and were encouraged to use it during lectures did not process what the speaker said as well as students who didn’t have Internet access.

When students were tested after class lectures, those who did not have internet access performed better than those who did. “Wiring classrooms for Internet access does not enhance learning,” Greenfield said. Wendy Boswell, the author of the article “The World Wide Web, How the World Wide Web Changed Society,” (2013) writes about the World Wide Web and its community and the effect it has on society. She also talks about the original intention of the World Web and the actual effect it’s having on society. She emphasizes that technology has led humans to be reliant to computers and has a huge negative impact on the people.

It has been confirmed by Boswell (2013) when stated “It has become a huge part of people’s lives; enabling them to communicate, work, and play in a global context. The Web is a community without limits, borders, or sometimes even rules; and has become a true word of its own. To delve further, the negative impacts of computers towards the way humans think is defined even more by Bradley Mitchell in his article titled How Wireless Effects Your Health (2013) in his statement: “some people speculate that prolonged exposure to wireless network devices can cause memory loss or other brain damage”.

Mitchell also stresses that a few schools have even banned the use of Wi-Fi networking due to health concerns towards students. In similar fashion, Sherri Gordon the writer of the article “What Are the Effects of Cyber bullying, Discover how Cyber bullying can impact victims,” explore in detail the impacts of cyber bullying and what the victims feel in the result of being cyber bullied. The two types of bullying are cyber bullying and traditional bullying. Both of them cause significant emotional and psychological distress.

Both victims of bullying and cyber bullying experience anxiety, fear, depression and low self-esteem. Victims might also become overwhelmed and made to feel like the situation is more than they can handle. Victims of cyber bullying often find it difficult to feel safe. They may have a feeling of uncertainty of who the bully is due to its remaining anonymous, which can escalate feelings of fear. The victim may also feel vulnerable, powerless, angry, and vengeful. They may also reach a point in which they start questioning life and can feel hopeless and meaningless.

Another possible way that computers change the way humans think is also described in this article titled “ How Technology Changes the Way We Think” by Gary Small and Vorgan Gigi. They explain that the brain’s plasticity and its ability to change in response to stimuli from the environment. The expanding of technology has been less appreciated and is shaping neural processing. The younger generation of people are more exposed to digital stimulation for several hours every day, and many older adults are not that far behind.

Studies show that even using a computer for Web searches for just an hour a day changes the way the brain processes information. Nicholas Carr, the author of the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid: What the Internet is doing to our brains,” (2008) writes about how people are just starting to get lazy about how they read and analyze information. He describes how the internet determines the way we process the material that is given when we are reading. Instead of people just taking their time and just reading the information in front of them, they just skim threw it just to get the main ideas from the article.

The more and more people use the web, the more we have to fight to stay alert and focused on long pieces of writing. This style of reading promoted by the net is becoming a major issue and may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made a long and complex of prose commonplace. The web is making us to relax and completely lazy in the way we interpret information. Complacency is failure in the sense of achievement when reading in depth of what one cares about.

Technological advancements have proved righteous in the sense of making everyday news available. However, our thought processes are hindered upon the options and already spoon fed “facts” which are presented to us by these technological electronic documents. Uncomplimentary to the fact of conventional news media, what “was” once an event in time is now captured by a medial selective capture. One is negligent to think and have the expectations of true everyday events such as news when one is subject to the constrains of the media.

There is little to no doubt that computers and technology has considerable benefits to our society. They both predominantly supply us with a wide range of information imperative to our innovative lifestyles, giving us the luxury and freedom to quickly look up information and providing answers for solutions. We usually and commonly use the internet to improve our own productivity, explore some of our interests, and ultimately increase our potential to explore and innovate. In the workforce, it assists and guides us with the development and substantiation of products and services.

Computers and technology definitely plays a major role in our society and impacts many users worldwide. Despite all these benefits that computers and technology provides us with, proven trends indicate that with our customary reliance of computer use that we have every day, our originality and higher order thinking is diminishing. As our society progresses in the current path that we are in, our critical thinking as a generation is declining in comparison to that of past generations.

With the availability of computers and technology to almost everyone, we can easily find solutions to questions online and take information those computers and the internet supplies rather than analyzing topics and thinking critically on our own. A prominent evaluator of computers and how technology has a negative impact towards humans, Nicholas Carr believes our reliance on researching others opinions and ideas on the internet is jeopardizing our originality and higher order of thinking.

“We are evolving from cultivators of personal knowledge into hunters and gathers in the electronic forest, dazzled by the Net’s treasures we are blind to the damage we may be doing to our intellectual lives and even our culture” (Carr, 2013). Nicholas Carr also illustrates that computers and technology is giving us rise to a systematic trend of fact finding and reporting. Society has become too reliant and makes it appoint to share with others to think rather personally develop and formulate our own creative ideas.

This has very much so negatively impacted our academic and educational institutions nationwide. A critic of the internet’s impact on society, Ingram Neil, observes that “We have become more insular, unadventurous, and less curious because of technology” (Neil, 2013). This observation surely shallows thinking and its promotion through conventional computer use cannot be advantageous to our cognitive thinking. With the continuous and frequent computer usage, studies have shown that the development of systemic implications such as scattered thinking and short term attention spans.

As we work with computers and technology, our brains are constantly pressured to take in vast amounts of information. There are a lot of different links on any one page that connect to other links, sidebar advertisements flash and divert attention, web pages contain very tempting pictures, and other factors all contribute to distractions while looking up information. With the constant and regular exposure to these distractions and the overbearing amount of information, the result is attributed to a reduction of attention spans which instigates other significant cognitive problems.

Since computers and technology are such distractions towards society, our brains are unable to forge the strong and expansive neural connections that give depth and diversification to our thinking. Carr highlights how the complexity and vastness of computers and technology is considerably reducing our ability to focus which is consequently developing scattered thinking. Continuous exposure is respectively negatively affecting the way we are processing and interpreting the information we are obtaining through computers and technology.

The human brain is very moldable and flexible. It is able to change to form new neural connections in order to easily restructure itself in a way to effectively incorporate information provided from computers and technology. When we encounter the various distractions, complexity, and greatness of computers every day, the brain fittingly needs to shift concentration in order to obtain information. These unavoidable shorter attention spans in order to retain the enormous amount of information it is exposed to and trying to absorb.

Traditional exposure progresses this short attention span condition which can potentially develop additional complications and problems. So with all these negative insinuations towards the use of computers and the advances of technology, we have to ask ourselves are we really becoming more intelligent as a result of using these on a daily basis. We are becoming less original, unmindful, unable to comprehend and retain information, and essentially, more insular with our traditional dependence on the computer and today’s technology.

Although some people claim the internet increases our intelligence, many critics believe computers are not making us smarter. Even though society tends to use the two words smart and intelligent vice versa, there is a major difference between the two. When we study and learn, we become more intelligent in the subject matter. Becoming smart and more intellectual is attained through critical thinking, studying, and through learned material and inference making, developed from birth to death. Computers and technology is making us more intelligent over generations due to its entanglement, but our learned applications in comparison to past generations are dwindled.

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