Not long ago, I was discussing with our think tank some of the challenges with all this new technology and all the information known to mankind literally in the palm of every student lucky enough to have a parent who bought them a smartphone. When holding all this knowledge in their hands – it’s no wonder they feel it a wasteful effort to memorize anything – “why bother, I can just look it up!” Well, they are right, even if we know there are some things they do need to know (memorize) and think about to survive in this world. Let’s talk.
Yes, the digitizing of the world, creates a different reality, one for which our brains and bodies were not necessarily evolved for, therefore human-centric technology is the key, and we need that before we go too much further. On the plus side, and it is a big PLUS, we open our horizons when we become digitally connected in such abundance. And, it is not the technology that is the problem alone, it’s how it’s used. That is the real digital divide. One person may use the technology to send pictures of “cats” to friends on Facebook, another might use it to collaborate with Canine Researchers around the planet to save big cats from extinction. Now then, the latter is much better of course, but we must allow freedom to choose how one wishes to use the technology gift before them right?
I read an interesting article the other day; “We Were Promised Flying Cars, All We Got Was 140-Characters,” meaning that Twitter is worth $10s of Billions and for about $500 million we could have successful perfected VTOL personal flying machines. Humans vote with their dollars, the average person wanted to be amused by distracting text messages and self-validation since they were missing something in their lives, now they want more of that, why? Because, they are so busy using the technology they feel even more empty inside – but then again, their addictions to these technologies were a choice, who are we to argue with their freedom to choose? Hard to say, but yes, I tend to agree with you. I personally am not on Facebook, nor do I own a smart-phone for the very reasons most technologists have considered, but couldn’t do without.
How we teach our children in the midst of all this social media, information and technology will determine how they use it in the future. Our entire human civilization is at stake and god forbid if all that technology were to stop working one day?