Influence of Technology on the Ability to Think
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In the modern world, technology is necessary for our day-to-day living. With that in mind, one must acknowledge that technology plays a substantial part in the accomplishment of our daily activities and influences the way people do things. Most importantly, technology plays a significant role in the way people think. To elaborate a little more on thinking, it is the capacity to reason, reflect, analyze and make conclusions based on knowledge, experiences and understanding. Technological improvements have had a substantial impact on our ability to learn and think critically and creatively. Technology has influenced our ability to think both deductively (in the top to down manner) and inductively (in the bottom to up manner). Some scholars argue that the technology has distracted the brain with different streams of information and visual stimuli that have diminished the ability of individuals to process this information deeply and to be able to remember it later in an innovative way. Others believe the technology provides access to different types of information and materials, in addition to the variety of gadgets and software that enable the use and understanding of such materials for the benefits of our thinking and learning processes. This paper explores the technology and its influence on our ability to think.
As a student, I can state that the world is better with technology than without the technology. Learning is easier with computers and iPads, which throw the Internet open. Technology provides learning resources, such as journals and e-books, that are easily and conveniently accessible. In the present-day world, technology is seen as a necessity to the student. Numerous benefits are attributed to technology when it comes to the ability to think, as well as to learn. Technology enables me to access the Internet. There are countless journals, books, e-books, videos, audio files, and other documents that comprise relevant academic information. I need such information to learn and practice some of the educative activities, gainig significant practical experience. On the Internet, there are no bounds to the amount and multiplicity of data that is accessible for learning, regarding a certain subject or topic. I can read these online documents, view the videos (such as lectures and tutorials) among other academic sources, in order to compare and analyze the information in relation to their subject of interest. Such information has been very instrumental and helpful to me in the process of learning, and for sure, it has influenced the way I think. Different sources of information from different parts of the world, their study and analysis have broadened my knowledge. At the same time, I gained the skill to view the same subject from different perspectives. Therefore, it is beneficial to use technology for students, as it provides a variety of resources, ideas and previous studies, which broaden the way the student thinks (Rosen et al. 55).
Thinking provides the foundation for creativity, communication and civilization. Every phase of our everyday life depends on our ability to think. The learning process, questioning, remembering, arguing, among other activities, depend on our ability to think. What we learn and what we observe and experience plays an important part in the manner in which we think and make decisions. Back in time when there were little technology and no internet access, the people learning at that time could read intensively and think in a focused and creative or imaginative way. Their way of thinking was influenced by the creativity found in the books they studied. Today, little attention is given to books and more to technologies, which provide us with the Internet. The Internet comes with a lot of information, both relevant and irrelevant. The exposure to such large amounts of information has made the modern students think in a way that they can scan information from the Internet in a quick and effective manner. Hence, it is essential to acquire the relevant information they need while ignoring the rest. The use of technology uniquely influences the way people think. For instance, the use of Internet to search for information may make the student think that instead of remembering the information regarding a particular subject, he/she remembers where to find that information. He/she can retrieve the information when it is needed (Sheahan 41).
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A research by scholars from London suggests that we are in the center of a massive change with regards to how we read and think. The 5-year research program found that people have demonstrated a form of “skimming activity” – they browse from a source to the next without looking back. Some would save articles but never read them. Today’s use of technology presents a different kind of reading, which influences a different way of thinking. An article by Carr, titled “Is Google Making us Stupid” notes that we (students) are putting “immediacy and efficacy” as the top priorities in reading, which is weakening our capability for deep reading, interpretation and analysis of information. Technology comes with a lot of information, some of which only serves as distractions to the process of thinking and learning. For instance, one could be looking for important academic or research material on the website, and advertisement about entertainment pops up. The advertisement will “diffuse the student’s concentration and scatter his attention,” both of which are essential for critical thinking to take place (The Atlantic).
Some scholars believe that the technology is robbing students of the ability to think conceptually, destroying their social interactions and creating a false notion that problem solving revolves around Google, Bing or other internet search engines. Such a mentality “restricts and alters intellectual reasoning,” which in turn affects the ability of teenagers to think while handling different problems. For instance, one can find a teenager looking for a solution to a problem online; while the problem at hand can get solved by simple logic and abstract reasoning (Carr 91).
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