Technology is undoubtedly one of the modern inventions that have a tremendous impact globally. Technology started to be famous during the era of digital revolution between the 1950s and 1970s where computers and other electronic devices were invented. As we approached the 20th century, there were massive technological advancements that have significantly improved technical understanding as well as improvement in economies worldwide. Additionally, technology has dramatically changed the human life especially the way of thinking because it makes people be efficient and be productive.
Despite having positive impacts globally, technology has however raised concerns regarding its effects on independent human thinking. Technology has been linked to reduced personal thinking and focuses on people and developmental issues among children. Technological innovation has taken over critical activities in the society from education to job opportunities. Therefore, children and adults interact with technology on a daily basis in learning or performing duties. As a result, human ways of thinking are affected since they hugely depend on technology to perform all tasks even those that required personal thinking.
Technology also has negatively impacted human brain by minimizing concentration, memory, and learning. According to researchers, technology has improved our visual skills but caused a decline in our critical thinking and analysis. Too much exposure to technology prevents personal efforts of reason and having insights about several things in the society. Eventually, its impacts will be felt in the way humans make decisions, have a memory lapse, and attention challenges. The study analyses common implications of technology on children and adults independent thinking.
Effects on Thinking and Reflection
Technology has indisputably affected peoples ability to think and have a personal reflection. The Internet has taken over substantial roles of the mind because of its efficiency in processing information. As a result, people depend entirely on internet sources rather than utilizing their brains to make decisions. Consequently, the persons capacity for contemplation and concentration will be wholly distracted hence affecting thinking skills. In todays world, googling has dominated how people operate and has become more than just an act of typing words to learn about something (Greengard, 2011). Google has taken over human brains and is slowly becoming our collective global memory. Students no longer engage their minds or becoming innovative because of vast internet database that grants them access to information they require. The rise in technological gadgets especially in learning institutions has tremendously led to declining in innovative and invention skills among the students.
Smartphones, iPads, and laptops have entirely changed the way people think. Ideally, these modes of technologies have controlled our communication and interaction within the society. In the modern community setting, technology is common in all our daily routines, and people are no longer able to perform without it. For example, businesses depend on technology to make transactions and predict future sales with little efforts from the employees. People no longer engage in the decision making of a firm because technologies such as balanced scorecard have taken over management issues hence limiting critical thinking by employees (Higgins, Xiao & Katsipataki, 2012). Unlike the past where businesses hire professionals with essential skills of thinking, todays firms largely depend on social media to analyze the industry and market trends of their businesses. Although it is quicker and efficient method of managing a corporation, it has severe impacts on the human cognitive skills because of over-dependence on technology. Balancing between the use of human brains and technology should be achieved to make the business more efficient.
Human reflection skill, on the other hand, has hugely declined since the technological revolution. According to experts, modern generation has limited reflection skills due to dependence on digital devices in learning. Frequent association with computers, TVs, and the internet has prevented peoples ability to be alone. In most cases, a person cannot have humble to time to engage in the personal reflection which could have improved his or her independent thinking. Technology improvement aimed at making people reflect on various elements in the society. However, surprisingly, it has prevented appreciate their owns depth and in turn become an obstacle for personal reflection (Greengard, 2011). Ultimately, a person is no longer willing to build emotional self-awareness through utilizing brain to understand ones emotions, driving factors, as well as strengths and weakness. Lack of reflection also reduces personal thinking on how to maximize productivity and minimize time spent. Instead, technology makes us become idle and having limited time to reflect on core values (Ceulemans, 2012).
In the contemporary society, technology has affected peoples self-identities. People no longer reflect on their personalities, interests or aptitudes and capabilities due to too much dependence on technology. For example, people rely on social media future projections to manage their current needs and set future goals. Technology has made people shift from being internal to externally driven. Individual thinking has lost a role in the society due to the force of new technological advancement that is trending in the community. In learning institutions, technology has become an obstacle for students to engage in extracurricular activities and other ways of expressing self-identities. Shifting into other technology-driven events is likely to minimize the application of students brains hence causing memory issues in future (Sutton, 2013). Therefore, the student should engage in activities such as debates, sports and other events that will likely enable them to use their brains with minimal use of technology.
Effects on Writing and Reading
Technology has played an essential role in improving reading skills among students in learning institutions. Students can now easily access reading materials online without necessarily having to visit a library. However, technology has brought numerous challenges on reading ability among the students. Firstly, the mode of reading in the society has been substantially downgraded by the technology. Modern reading is characterized by skimming practice instead of actual thorough reading. Students prefer to decode information through skipping pages or chapters to source information fast (Sung, Chang & Liu, 2016). This, in turn, affects their ability to interpret and understand information because of little usage of individuals thinking while reading. Researchers found that internet limits sustained reading which is one way of thinking. Instead, speed-reading or having a little glance at fundamental aspects of reading will endanger the reading brain of humans. Therefore, digital reading materials should be minimized to enable readers to grasp more information through intense analysis of any given article using their minds.
Secondly, there is lack of tactile experience when using technology as reading material. Technological devices significantly influence the attention of the reader because of reading triggers brain to allow both sight and touch of the reading material. As a result, the individual will not absorb information from the reading due to distractions that limit engaging mind in one activity (Sung et al., 2016). Similarly, hypertexts in the learning devices make the reader jump from one spot to another quickly. Eventually, the reader will be unable to engage his or her thinking skills on one cohesive text due to interruptions from the hypertexts. Finally, technology attracts multitasking whereby students will engage in reading and at the same time playing video games. Unlike hard copies, digital devices are distracting, and little thinking is applied when students are faced with multiple tasks during study time hence becoming a huge setback for reading (Sung et al., 2016).
Writing, on the other hand, faces similar challenges when done using the online material. Research findings found that online writing encourages increased quantity at the expense of quality. Online writers use little critical thinking when writing blogs due to the desire to write a lengthy blog which in most cases have shallow ideas. In this age of freedom of publication, many authors become engaged in publishing articles that are not critically analyzed. This is because there is no quality control that research papers written in learning institutions. People have commercialized articles and books which mostly criticized for shallow thinking studies. Likewise, easy access to online data makes one quickly find what he or she is supposed to write on (Thiebaud, 2010). For instance, Google has ready answers to almost all questions in any field hence students may not engage their brains when writing assignments in schools. In the end, education quality will be compromised in learning institutions.
Furthermore, shorter attention spans when using digital tools may affect the writing of the students. Students will no longer brainstorm, analyze, synthesize, and critically research a given topic to write about. They, however, engage in shortcuts through writing quickly to focus on other online issues. Statistics have shown that over 50% of students become careless and avoid using critical thinking when using online platforms (Higgins et al., 2012). Other students engage in unlawful actions like plagiarism and copy-pasting to avoid using their brains when writing assignments. This results in difficulties during the presentation of their work due to unfamiliar contents of the work done. Online writing does not make students be thoughtful and critical thinkers compared to those having no access to technology devices (Greengard, 2011). Hence, school curriculum should limit online writing and emphasize on other types that involve thinking, and discussions, especially in a group, works.
Psychological Impact of the Technology
Technology has numerous implications on conscious and unconscious aspects of mind of an individual. Firstly, technology impedes our focus and the ability to sustain our attention on specific actions. Focusing is a phenomenon controlled by the mind and could be easily be interfered with by the modern technologies. Our society is surrounded by internet, social media, and smartphones that negatively changes our focus on important life issues. For example, when focusing on incoming savings for future investment, the emergence of new technology is likely to distract your focus which destroys your financial goals. This type of goal interference triggers behavior changes because it changes the way you think. People find themselves in impulse buying especially for electronics because they fail to control their attention to technological improvements. The results of this technological interference are loose of focus that can lead to massive changes in life goals (Thiebaud, 2010).
Secondly, technology mostly prompts fear of missing out (FOMO). This entails a fear of regret which leads to anxiety and irritation of the need to get something (Ceulemans, 2012). FOMO is common when interacting with a technological device. For instance, a student reading or writing using a digital tool is likely to attract to other exciting things such as videos and games thus losing focus on academic work. This need changes ones independent thinking which is taken over by the fear of missing out on having more fun. This behavior is typical...
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