- Mental Health
Wiring More Than Devices | The Effects Technology Has On The Young Learning Brain
This is completely opinionated and has no research validation. However, I felt that it is relevant experiences occurring in society today. Some of what I say below I have consulted research, though I did not go back and insert any of that since this is intended to be off the cusp and focuses solely on emotion and view.
As I walked into work this morning I hear a student say, “I have to go but you can text me throughout this class.”
My little light bulb illuminates giving the signal that I am thinking. Are our children and young adults learning in school today? Can they pay attention and if so how well? Do they have an inflated sense of self eluding them to believe that they can multitask really well or has the chemistry in our brains mutated into a super powered brain? Or could it be something less impressive?
Days Of The Past
Let’s take a walk back to the 70’s or 80’s. What comes to my mind in a flash is simpler times – times where I was not constantly fidgeting with a small handy gadget that has more answers than my aged and seasoned mind. Those were times to remember and have even reemerged as hilarious television shows. But we have to put all those wholesome stories to bed since, as they are long past due. But just before I lay down those old memories into some far away gravesite I must ask, do I have the same brain or is that lost and worthy of burying too.
Thinking In A Flash
Today everyone is thought to have instantaneous responses to some deep-seated concerns. If the answer is not readily available there is always Google or Siri. So do we really need the answer or do we rely on the heavily watered down version of whatever thrills us. It just seems that we are physically connected to so many devices, yet that physical connection has afforded the ability to emotionally disconnect.
Impulse control is all but lost. Imagine a young person waiting for a letter in the mail. They might as well croak over dead in front of you because they could never handle that type of anticipation. Social media gives the impression that I am really connected to all my followers and the more friends I have equates to social popularity. Thereby, if someone doesn’t instantaneously respond to my latest picture posted and I know they are online because their green button is illuminated, then they must hate me. So patience is not less than desired in our world today.
The Electronic Apocalypse
Just for a moment imagine that you woke up one day without a single electronic device. Yes those that get you through the day and help you to think your way out of a paper bag. Could you find your way to your next meeting without Google Maps or to find out where to purchase a present for a 3-year-old girl since you are on the way to her birthday party? What is the cost of all our technological advances? Would you just burst into flames from overwhelming stress because your life as you know it has slipped out of your hands. Well we cannot turn back at this point and must accept the times we are in. But if we tried a true disaster would likely ensue.
It seems that with the advances of technology everyone is texting more and talking less. One immediate concern is that as humans we are emotionally connected creatures. What that means is we need to feel and reciprocate love as a part of human fulfillment. Though, texting does not afford one to recognize facial expressions, which help to identify and connect emotionally. Yeah I know we have Emoji now and that will do for the time being. But seriously, I am saying that our ability to emotionally connect has been altered and thereby it is possible that we lose the brain connections that recognize facial expressions, empathy, fear and possibly can affect our overall fight-or-flight response.
Does It Sink In Or Sit On The Surface
Back to the original reason I wrote this article. Are we able to absorb information or does it just sit on the surface since we have changed the way in which students connect to professors. I know in my own personal experience when I am on my phone texting I am really not in tune with whomever is speaking. That equates to receiving only a portion of the information. Thereby are young people learning less than in the past due to their inability to remain focused.
Just think of the information stored on your phone. How many phone numbers do you remember. There is an application for everything. You want it you got it in one click before it’s downloaded. There is no need to be resourceful as long as you have an Internet connection. So what will that tell us one day about intellect. Will we even care since you don’t actually need to be intelligent you just need to know the right search keyword.
Is There A Bigger Issue At Hand
With that being said, are we creating a bigger issue by progressing so far with technology. If people are multitasking and unable to remain focused on the task at hand then in some ways is society creating a new wave Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The symptomatology that is emerging as a result of technology is mimicking ADHD in many ways. I find myself having trouble staying focused on one task since I have become accustomed to doing many things at once as World Wide Web grabs ahold and doesn’t let go.
Are The Costs Of Technology Worth It?
In the end, are we getting the best bang for our buck? In many ways we are but in the department of human experience I believe that we are fooling ourselves to believe we are progressing. Working with college students I have found that many of them do not know how to solve problems with relationships, they have difficulties talking to others and exceptional difficulties making friends. It seems that young people are not able to connect in the ways that we did in the 70’s or 80’s. I am sure there are other hypotheses about how we have come to this point. But I feel that our advances in technology undeniably lead to it.
Siri Cannot Fix Everything
Young people have lost the ability to problem solve and the generation that can is aging quickly by the moment. Aside from that no one can look up from their devices long enough to learn how to problem solve. Those that are modeling such behavior have lost their audience and for those that don’t have a device lodged far inside their orifice one will shortly come along at the appropriate age. If Siri only knew how this world would depend on her for so many things she may have found a way to self-destruct before her launch. But too late now Siri you have followers and they need your help.
Are you happy with the way your new wires look?
Yeah they are not physical wires but those imagined wires are far stronger than the physical ones were once made out to be. When the first computer was officially launched did anyone know we would be here one day. Imagining life when many of the technological advances today were just in theory. But now we have watched those innovations come to life and take over the world. Even myself – as I write this I habitually look at my phone to ensure I have not missed any tidbit of the world around me. Before I settle and allow my opinion be heard – I just want to check in with everyone and find if you are content with your new age robotic and dependent brain that technology has now morphed you toward.
My sarcasm is flowing today, maybe I need to listen to students a little more and be less analytical. Maybe I should ask Siri for her advice.