Saugat Bhattarai

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Published On: November 29, 2018 09:56 AM NPT By: Saugat Bhattarai

Let’s not let technology ruin us

Let’s not let technology ruin us

Over two million years, human beings have experienced and achieved so many feats that today they proudly enjoy the most comfortable life they could ever imagine.  Thanks to the advancements in technology in recent decades. While many other living species still wander in forests, humans have started their journey of exploring the space. After conquering land and seas, today, human aspire to conquer vacuum.  No doubt, the technology they posses is surely going to make their mission of conquest successful within few centuries, if not few scores. But still, the pertinent question remains, ‘What if the same technology snatches the most precious asset human beings posses- the ability to think and analyze?’

While technology has certainly probed many benefits over years, it has also become evident that it may be hindering the way brain develops, especially in terms of problem solving skills in young adults. One of the ways critical thinking has been hindered is with diminished attentions in twins and teens. Attention is pretty much gate way to thinking. It is impossible to think if there is no attention span. Without attention, other aspects of thinking such as perception, memory, learning, problem solving and decision making are greatly hindered. Various studies and researches have shown that attention is directly influenced and shaped by the environment. For example, in past, children spent great deal of their free time, which contained little or no distractions, required intense attention?

Nowadays children and teens spend most of their time watching TVs, playing video games and surfing internet. These things in comparison to reading have a completely different effect on attention. They offer visual stimuli and distractions allowing for fragmented attention and little or no need for imagination or memory. Reading a book in quiet, slow paced setting allows brain to focus solely and think about the information provided from the book. Conversely, using a high speed internet surrounded by many other distractions causes focus to be extremely fleeting. Reading for pleasure enhances and develops imagination, creativity, reflection, critical thinking in a way technology never could.

Critical thinking as an attitude is embedded in human culture. Society has long cherished the ability to think beyond ordinary. In a world where knowledge is revered and innovation equals progress those able to bring forth greater insight is destine to make their mark and blaze a trial to enlightenment. Human history is filled with remarkable thinkers who have not only defined but also redefined world views: Sir Issac Newton discovering gravity, Volatire altering perceptions about society and religious dogma, and Einstein redefining the understanding of the universe. But in the age of computers, videogames and internet there is question about how technology is changing critical thinking and whether society benefits from it. Although there is a little debate that the technology complements and often enhances the human mind in the quest to store information an process an ever going tangle of bits and bytes, there is an increasing concern that the same technology is changing the way we approach complex problems making it more difficult to really think.

We’re exposed to greater amount of yet charismatic thinking, the fads of intellect fashion, opinion and moral assertion. The wealth of communications and information can easily overwhelm our reasoning abilities. The ever growing piles of data and information don’t equate to greater knowledge and better decision making.   So, it is of prime importance that dependency on technology should be reduced. While giving priority to the visual world, real interactions should not be avoided. Technology might help explore and even conquer space, but to make sure we plan to go beyond infinity our asset must be there with us; we shouldn’t let technology ruin it. 

Bhattarai is a recent high school graduate from St Xavier’s College, Maitighar.

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