Are small account of a story he has

Are the continuous developments in technology making us stupider? Some would argue that technology has begun slowly taking over our lives, developing need-based dependencies for newer and better innovations. Roger Graves, an IT professional, gives a small account of a story he has read of a world all about technology and in this world, people could not cooperate without the technologies that helped them live their daily lives. Things like a computer chip that allowed them do answer any math question in just a second or instead, for punishment, actually take away these innovations and watch people suffer without any technological help or assistance. On the other hand, Annie Paul, a journalist editor and educational writer, believes if used correctly, technology may actually heighten our brains thinking process and figure out new ways to solve different issues faced day by day.             The continuous developments in technology have begun taking a toll on our day-to-day lives and skills we need to use and learn through life. Nicholas Carr, (a publisher of books and articles related to technology, business and culture), has learned from a US University that from a young age, children began developing skills and an “automatic thinking” process while using the internet. This is because when you search for any word, phrase, definition, etc. the internet will bring up thousands of articles and texts that either have exact wording or relate to the entered word(s). While we try to find the answer to what we looked up, we began skimming words or phrases that correlate to the topic we just looked up. This use of skimming teaches the brain to skim and not retain all of what you have just quickly read through, so during lessons and teachings, you would have a more difficult time to retain what you have learned thus far. Nicholas Carr presents data from a study by Patricia Greenfield that shows “every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others”, meaning using the internet and gaining these heightened skimming skills takes away from skills you could have. Some examples would include, learning how to handle money, or even deal with many assignments at once (which is multitasking).Patricia then says, “our growing use of screen-based media” accompanies “new weaknesses in high-order cognitive processes including inductive problem solving, critical thinking and creativity”. These skills are important to develop and grow with through your early childhood, but due to the internet, children now lack the knowledge that the previous generation had regarding critical thinking and creativity thanks to the increased social media websites. On the same thought, Chamorro- Premuzic has labeled humans and their lives as a “hyperlink economy”, meaning, “the only knowledge we need to have is the knowledge of where to find stuff”. Premuzic is trying to get at the thought that technology is slowly taking our lives and we aren’t doing anything about it, our world now relies upon looking up the answers on the internet, not trying to figure them out on our own. An issue with what Premuzic is trying to support is that he actually does not give support towards this “hyperlink economy” making it an issue to try to agree with his claim. Supporting Nicholas Carr, Kabir Sehgal believes reading text online actually makes you dumber than you were beforehand. It is not that what you read makes you stupid; it is all the links on the page you read contains on it. For example, having links to other pages and sites, having a share button followed by a like button, etc. makes your brain think “should I click or not?”, then is followed up by “why wouldn’t I click on this?” Kabir backs up his data with a book published by Nicholas Carr himself called “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”. Kabir then uses a scientific study by UCLA in 2008, using the brains of 24 people to see if avid Google users had heightened activity near the prefrontal cortex, compared to the few who do not use Google as much; and they actually did have more heightened senses. The only downside Kabir presented was the fact that he used words that were extremely complex to the normal reader, which makes it somewhat hard to follow through his reasoning.             The continuous developments in technology help shape our lives and communities to better our future and understanding of how lives can keep improving. In the debate “Debate: Is Smart Technology Making Us Dumb?”, David Weinberg sides with technology and says “a meteorologist who  uses an old weather vane won’t give as accurate results compared to using new and improved weather vanes…”. This means that using new and better technology allows us to get more accurate and correct data from information we measure and keep track of. However, this is not all, Weinberg then says, “we are in a renaissance of knowledge, we now have the ability to understand our fourteen billion year old universe” all because of our advanced technology. Now we are able to call somebody by a click of a button in case of an emergency; we can order food and have it delivered in new, more fuel-efficient cars that help keep CO2 from polluting our atmosphere. Thanks to the advanced internet and its searching capabilities, we are able to look up almost any topic and find an answer to almost any question. Because of the internet’s structure, when you search a topic, you find thousands of articles related to what you’ve searched; because of this, we have developed an advanced skimming skill that allows us to skim the “thousands of online articles…”(Weinberg), until we find what we need to know. Following Weinberg’s argument that technology has helped us understand our fourteen billion year old universe is an assumption that everybody believes our world is actually fourteen billion years old. Some religions such as Christianity teach that the world is much newer and has existed since the beginning of time when God created the world. In the same debate, Genevieve Bell , the vice president of Intel and leading member of Intel’s newer products, says that “In Africa, phones are used to help send out messages of approaching disasters like hurricanes or tsunami’s heading there direction. In the U.S.A. we have the dreaded amber alert” which allows us to try to locate missing children and teenagers.             From a personal perspective, arguments surrounding whether advancements in technology make us stupid or smart is rather hard to envision due to my lack of expertise; however, I do believe that with all the newer advancements in technology, we will be able to do so much more than fifty years ago. We have new medicinal research that has allowed us to create more medicine for newer illnesses, new fuel efficient cars to help preserve the atmosphere from harmful chemicals, and the list could go on. With the new advancements, we have opened up new doors to answers we could not have gotten previously such as new cancer treatments or anti-earthquake houses. Due to the always-expanding population and new professions, these new advancements have also made new jobs for people qualified in the fields of engineering and medicine, in architecture and science, mathematics, etc.