Have you ever realized how technology is changing our lives? There is no doubt that all of the
new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in obvious and subtle,
unintentional and detrimental ways. We don’t have the benefit of historical hindsight, but we can
analyse current research, and touch on how it affects us now.
There is research that confirms technology can have both beneficial and harmful effects on us.
Also, since children’s brains are still developing and malleable, frequent exposure to electrical
technology is actually wiring the brain in ways very different than in previous generations. It is
clear is that, with all the advances throughout history, the technology that is available to us
determines how our brains develop.
Using so much technology is not fair. In fact, more than half of the households worldwide don’t
have a computer. The kids living in them don’t need them for games; they can’t even complete
their homework. This is kind of sad, and probably, most of the people living in those households
didn’t have a proper meal today. If they can’t afford a meal, how can we expect them to afford
In previous generations, children directed considerable amounts of their time to read, an activity
that offered few distractions and required intense and sustained attention, imagination, and
memory. Then the Internet was invented and we were thrust into a vastly different environment
in which distraction is the norm, consistent attention is impossible, imagination is unnecessary,
and memory goes in hibernation. Electronic technology conditions the brain to pay attention to
information very differently than reading. One way to think about it is scuba diving and jet
skiing. Book reading is like scuba diving in which the diver is submerged in a quiet, slow-paced
setting with few distractions and, as a result, is required to focus narrowly and think deeply. On
the other hand, using the Internet is like jet skiing, in which the jet skier is skimming along the
surface of the water at high speed, exposed to a broad area, surrounded by many distractions. A
perfect comparison, isn’t it?
Studies have shown that reading uninterrupted text results in faster completion and better
understanding, memoring, recalling, and learning than those who read text filled with hyperlinks
and ads. Those who read a text version of a essay, as compared to one that included ads and
links, found the essay to be more engaging, informative, and entertaining, completely different
from the ones who couldn’t even recall what they were reading about five seconds ago.
Additionally, a different study showed that students who were allowed Internet access during
class for the study didn’t recall the lecture nor did they perform as well on a test of the material
as those who weren’t using the internet during class.
The effects of technology on humans are complicated, with both benefits and costs. Whether
technology helps or hurts in the development of your thinking depends on what specific
technology is used and how and what frequency it is used.
A lot of people type constantly, whether it’s texting their friends or doing their job. If you do, I
don’t blame you; almost everyone does. Unfortunately, too much typing isn’t the best thing to do
for your body. You can get Carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS), which is a medical condition affecting
the wrist that can be caused by typing. Some symptoms are pain, tingling, and/or numbness in
certain areas of the hand and/or wrist. Also, a study with revealed that intensive use of cell
phones and computers can be linked to an increase in stress, sleep disorders and depressive
symptoms in young adults. Another effect is a repetitive strain injury(RSI) which can be caused
by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained or
awkward positions, such as typing. Now I hope you’ll hesitate to pick up your phone and text
your friends after you finish reading this article.
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WR I T TEN B Y A R Y A WA Z A
Don’t worry; I’m not trying to convince you that you shouldn’t use technology- exposure to technology isn’t all
bad. Research shows that, for example, certain video games and other screen media improve visual-spatial
capabilities, quick reaction times, and the capacity to identify details among clutter. For example, the use of
Internet search engines is causing children to become less adept at remembering things and more skilled at
remembering where to find things. Given the ease with which information can be found these days, it only
stands to reason that knowing where to look is becoming more important for children than actually knowing
something. Not having to retain information in our brain may allow it to engage in more higher-order
processing such as contemplation, critical thinking, and problem-solving. We also have to take into
consideration how fast the world is going, and at this rate, all future jobs will be programming, so it’s not a
bad idea to get a head start.
The bottom line is simply that too much screen time and not enough other activities, will result in you having
you wired in ways that you may not like, but too less screen time might make you less, not more, prepared to