Being connected all the time brings us many benefits, but it also hinders our ability to think for ourselves. We develop tunnel vision, and that makes us less aware of many things. I believe technology is making us smarter, maybe not dumber; but dependent on it. More importantly, it’s makes us feel as though we’re being creative with it when we’re not not.
Is technology making us dumber?
One place we see a clear sign that technology stifles creativity is in social media. You see, social media has given everyone a voice, a channel to express themselves; whether or not what is posted is useful is another matter. Most of it is superficially creative.
Tech firms thrive on making us feel creative. Those nice looking pictures we post on Instagram are taken by us, but the filter effect are not done by us. Same with the snaps on Snapchat.
Creativity is hard work, and the apps in our devices make it more easy to trick ourselves into believing we’re working for that creative result.
Another point is that we’re living in the Age of Efficiency, so we’re becoming more and more dependent on technology for almost everything. I still see people use the GPS navigation system on their phones for local directions!
The internet, as I’ve written about before, is a double edge sword when it comes to making us smarter; and creative. You see, similar to how the apps in our devices make it easy for us to feel like we’ve being creative, search engines and social media filter everything for us limiting our area of exploration.
You see, social media is a huge bias bubble; and it’s very easy for us to never challenge opinions and facts. We need to fight it back, otherwise we’ll be stuck in the filter bubble that is the internet.
Anyway, I personally don’t feel as though technology is making me dumber. I try to maintain a balance, using it more for knowledge acquisition and entertainment while not completely outsourcing my brain to it.
It’s in our nature to let ourselves get pulled in and acting mindlessly with technology, it’s up to us to decide whether or not technology makes us dumber or smarter.
The Big Bang is a weekly podcast. Tune in every Tuesday for more discussions on what’s possible.
Intro audio is by Arturo Arriaga, outro audio is Candyland by Guy J.