Technology: Unplug or solve the problem at the root of moderation?
“The first iPhone was released just eight years ago and since then, smartphones have become so widely adopted that people now seek ways to “unplug.” As the next wave of tech is designed, what cultural aspects should be given careful attention?”
As the new wave in tech is designed, certain cultural aspects must be given certain attention. Its all changing the way our brains work. At a microcellular level, the infinitely complex network of neurons and glia that constitute part of the brain do change in response to experiences and stimuli. If people are adopting ways to “unplug” what does that say about how technology is changing our brain? and therefore culture? How does inhibiting a screen, two dimensional world produce changes in behavior?
Social: With a contact just a call or click away, we neglect any upkeep neccessary to maintain our relationships with those physically near us.
We share information but how is it bettering the maintenance of our relationships?
Cognitive: Attention is most directly influenced by the environment in which it is used. With the over stimulation of constant information and images and instant gratification, come shorter attention spans making it more difficult to solve complex problems, particularly if there are few social incentives for deeper engagement. Attention is necessary for contemplative thought. The capacity to reflect, reason and draw conclusions based on our knowledge and insight is what makes us human. Attention effects memory and why retain facts when you can google it?
Imagination: The power of imagination is not a metaphor. Reading encourages our brains to be more focused and imaginative, whereas the rise of the internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and effectively. With the internet, people are becoming more dependent on knowing where to look instead of synthesizing and creating, deactivating certain parts of the brain you may have used without technology.
In conclusion, cultural aspects that should be given special attention when it comes to technology are social aspects and cognitive aspects. We may have a more efficient way of gathering and sharing information, but at what price? It has been said if you dont use it you lose it, and it remains true.