Internet promotes ‘groupthink’ which robs us of original fresh perspectives. Once one idea starts, everyone bounces on it and that is it. We begin to wire our brains alike and rapidly codify our brains to think along. From New York Times to CNN, AP to USA Today, finding original fresh perspectives is difficult because we have become half-baked intellectuals that rarely care to remember things?
Yes, since we can Google, why bother to remember. Microsoft Word helps us get along with misspellings and why worry to spell correctly. Word is there to help you. And did I mention that the art of hand writing is dead because in 30 years today, kids may never have to ever use a pencil in pre-schools or primary schools. We will have gadgets that eliminate the need for knowing your spelling and hand-writing very well.
Would they miss those? I doubt so because by then, there would be no paper check with contracts executed digitally and all hand-writing skills will matter less.
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Personally, I do not like cellphones. They distract and affect ones concentration level, especially for those that still enjoy reading. Unfortunately, the reality of this age is that you have to live with it to move along.
In the Internet, we Google random data and pieces of news and rarely spend time to understand any concept very well. The values of books are low because we have cheap alternatives online. We lose the balance and depth that comes from reading nice books.
Today, what do you do? Google the topic or visit Chat Rooms and ask someone to explain the topic in a paragraph. Suddenly, you are an expert. When you engage the so-called expert in a conversion, you will discover he needs to google for more facts to keep the discussion going.
Just like the guy that was asked in an AT&T commercial to name the capital of Peru in a game show. He called his buddy to help and the man Googled the answer for him. No one puts efforts to remember because the other part of the brain is on the Internet.
We have put our brains on holidays. I used to memorize all the major statistics and by doing that sharpen my brain to retain and produce when needed. These days, who cares what is in the brain. Your Smartphone is there to help you. Why memorize your car plate number when it is there?
Just ask a typical 21-year student that uses GPS to describe how he travelled from New York City to say Boston, a road he has taken more than 20 times; he will not even recall the first exit from New York City. The reason is that GPS is the brain. I am guilty of this also; I care less of those exit numbers provided the GPS is on.
So does it mean that kids born today will be less-intellectually capable that those born in 1960? The new kids will use less of their brains and their abilities to think creatively may be challenged? And because their brains are not storing and retaining data and facts, they may not properly mine data very well. Relying on computers and gadgets that offer what has only been known and programmed therein.
It is unlikely that Faraday, Einstein, Edison, Curie and others would have become legends if they lived in this age? Also, it is also possible that there are many legends in this time that people do not care because there are many of them. I recently visited an archive and saw some old editions of popular magazines. There were many scientists on covers of magazines. Then discovery was a feat and whenever it happened, the world celebrated. But today, it is so common that we care not that much.
Think of the last time you saw a scientist on a major magazine (I am not talking about innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs). I mean people that create the basic knowledge the world feeds on. They are very rare but it does not mean that guys are not making breakthroughs in science daily.
You know that I am on the losing side of this argument because no matter the perils of netification of the society, not using an Internet would be more trouble. Let the brains go on vacations if they want, I will continue to ‘live’ on the web because for all its negatives, there is no life without the Internet.