The Faster & Easier the Better-Or is it?

Today’s society runs on the quick and immediate. With calendars, contacts, GPS, and a world’s worth of information available in the palm of your hand, today’s culture has become very comfortable with having technology serving their every need in an instant. But how does this dependancy impact society’s ability to slow down and take time to do things such as problem solve and act independently?

With technology rapidly advancing, “Kids React to Old Computers” gives a humorous glimpse at how today’s youth are being influenced by this world of instancy and expectancy.

“It’s tedious!”

“There’s too many steps!”

“That was the peak of technology and now it seems worthless!”

The reactions are priceless: frustration, confusion, helplessness, shock, impatience; and the list goes on! But what do they say about how today’s youth have been conditioned to rely on technology? The simple act of turning on the computer was a confusing task for these children and the multiple steps required to make the computer to function rendered them baffled. While it was only a few extra steps, the need to contribute actual effort in receiving information seemed unheard of. It’s clear that these kids have grown accustomed to having technology do all of the work for them! Society as a whole has lost it’s ability to think on it’s own; to truly problem solve and function without the assistance of technology.

Just take writing these blogs for example: the dependency on technology is enormous and it is second nature to assume that it will provide resources for us.

Exhibit A:

It’s expected that our computers will function, respond, and inform us at all times. It’s expected that we can type and be told, not only that there are spelling mistakes, but what the proper spelling is. So why need to know how to use a dictionary? It’s expected that we can receive an immediate explanation for the things that confuse us; removing the need to know how to come up with solution on our own. We’ve taken the thought process out of thinking! We no longer work through things to solve problems, but have problems solved for us.

So why is this important for children?

One way that this addiction to the ‘instant’ and ‘automatic’ can be seen is through it’s affect on attention span. How is the next generation supposed to thrive and exceed the workings of those who came before them if they don’t have the ability to focus? These children are entertained in shorter and shorter spurts of time and it’s affecting more and more areas of live. Jim Taylor describes the decline in attention span as a serious issue among today’s children. He explains,

“You can think of attention as the gateway to thinking. Without it, other aspects of thinking, namely, perception, memory, language, learning, creativity, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making are greatly diminished or can’t occur at all. The ability of your children to learn to focus effectively and consistently lays the foundation for almost all aspects of their growth and is fundamental to their development into successful and happy people.”

It’s obvious that changes need to be made to address this issue! Children (and society as a whole) need to retrain their brains to focus. Medical Daily  says to it all starts by drinking more fluids, exercising, and avoiding technology. Seeming simple, but are we ready?

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