A few days ago I was watching a very interesting documentary about bushmen somewhere in South America and while watching I was really amazing of the people’s ability to live with the nature and to think about complex problems.
I actually sometimes ask myself the question if all the technological innovations that emerged over the last centuries are beneficial for us as human race or if we lose our ability to solve substantial problems.
When I entered the phrase “information technology makes us stupid” into Google Blogsearch I found several interesting information about the topic. On this Business Consulting Blog the author discusses the question if social networks are making us dumb. Firstly, he is referring to a twitter post of Bill Keller , who is the executive editor of The New York Times. Keller stated that the use of social networks is “killing genuine personal relationships and conversation”. Further, the author of the blog gives his own opinion by arguing that in history with every innovation (like the radio or the telephone) people where afraid that vital mental skills are to be lost. He does not share the opinion that our mental capacity will decrease but that solely the ways in which we communicate change over time. He states that technology, which does a lot of the work for us, gives us actually the chance to use our brain’s capacity for different things.
Well, I found another article that refers to the book “What the internet is doing to our brains” by Nicholas Carr. His thesis is that the internet eventually is giving the whole society ADHS . But also in this article the author (Dana Blankenhorn) rejects that statement. In her opinion “every medium brings new skills to the fore, and new possibilities to the mind”.
So, what do I think about these different views? That is actually hard to say because I am already very used to the internet. But I have to say that I sometimes try to live without internet or mobile phone (when I go on a skiing trip for example). Admittedly, I feel less stressed and care more about the people around me when information technology is absent. All these new innovations allow us to do more things at a time and to get work done faster. But I am wondering if humans are really made for that. We are relying very much on technology and one has to go with the flow in this society. We should try to use the positive aspects of the new possibilities but it is probably always good to take a break once in a while to relax a little bit and to not let the technology control us. What do you think?