Is Smartphone, GPS, and the many smart stuff destroying our ability to use our brain power?
No not at all it is just helping us do these tasks faster and more accurate then before we had all this technology
They don't take away our ability to use our brain power, but they certainly increase laziness and decrease motivation for people to learn things on their own. It drives me crazy that children are no longer taught how to work out math problems. I recently found out they no longer teach long division in school!? That is so sad...
As far as GPS goes, it is a personal pet peeve of mine when people have no idea how to navigate around their own town without a GPS. I don't think parents should buy their children GPS or allow them to use the apps on their phones until they learn, themselves, the streets around town...One glitch with the GPS and they could end up very lost or possibly in a bad part of town. AND they lack the skills to know how to navigate through unfamiliar places...*sigh*
It's not because of technology, it's because of personal laziness. It is each person's responsibility to maintain their cognitive functioning - use it or lose it!
My answer to this question would reluctantly have to be yes, but with stipulations as well as being very dependant on the generation the user is from as well.
I use a smartphone daily for my job. I use it for email, text messages, web browsing, checking helpdesk tickets and even managing our Windows Server environment. I am 36. I believe myself to be fairly well spoken as well as well written. I have common sense for the most part and I can read a map perfectly.
From another aspect, I also work with a wide range of young adults in my field. I have seen a great deal of these young people's writing skills, and I must say that what they mean vs. what they write is very disturbing. Texting acronyms have started to take over the english language for many young people to the point where they can't spell normal words correctly anymore.
Somewhat recently, I actually had a student send me an email explaing an issue that we had that literally read:
"Sry about teh insedent at wrk. I rly tryed to git it sorted. Pls let me no if its alrite now."
Now that snippet was just a little piece of the disaster that this person made of the english language. It was a very dark moment for me.
I can honestly say that over-using these devices, especially if you have lazy tendancies, will only magify those types of issues. The age group that I notice this type of behavior in ranges from 18 - 24.
This is just my opinion from experiences that I have had with numerous people from many different age groups, so take it with a grain of salt.
I do agree that with this technology it helps people complete tasks more accurate and efficiently, but at the same time, I do believe it is taking away the ability to accomplish these tasks on their own. I think people who are 100% dependent on technology to accomplish even the most remedial of tasks are missing out on a huge part of education. With education there needs to be a foundation in which you build off of, you won't understand calculus if you don't understand algebra. You won't be able to do so much with out the foundations of education, which are the simple things in which smart phones have been taking over. Even as an example, calculators, I never owned a calculator until my freshman year of college, I can still do long division in my head and even mostly all types of math and even some parts of calculus are all done in my head.
With that being said, I do believe that SOME people are losing their basic skills, but then again, a lot of people that are used as these examples wouldn't have had the basic ability to use their brain power anyway. Not to be harsh or anything, but some people are just not as fortunate as others educationally, but may be a hundred times better in other aspects of life. But, the example eric2112 uses with the student's email, it is sad to see such a thing, but at the same time, I think that comes from poor parenting and schooling just as much as it does from technology. Never have I used acronyms in text messages, 90% of the time I'll even punctuate properly... Oh and by the way I'm in that age range in which you specified as the ones who are losing brain power... I'm 22.
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