The Secrets Behind Technology

Aaron Santa Cruz
The Startup
Published in
5 min readNov 12, 2020

What’s it hiding?

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For the human race, technology is evolving much faster than we are. It is ruining us, making us dumber. We look up things we don’t know on Google. We remember the fact maybe for a little while and then it’s gone. We will then have to look it up again just to remember things. Technology is also eliminating the need for classrooms. We could learn all of the curriculum online. It even affects how we communicate with others. Technology is manipulating us in a negative ways by changing how we receive and understand information, communicate with others, and learn.

Processing information and having a deeper understanding of information has become harder than ever. Technology is a big contributor to this problem. According to an article from phys.org titled Is technology making your attention span shorter than a goldfish’s?, technology has made our attention spans very short “The average human attention span — how long we can concentrate effectively on a single task — was recently reported by Microsoft to have dropped below the level attributed to goldfish.” (Thirkettle and Pike). Shorter attention spans make it harder to get the full story of something that someone is trying to understand. Another thing that technology has done is is rewire our brains so that we think in different ways. According to Bidisha, one of the people interviewed in one of The Guardian articles titled The internet: is it changing the way we think? , they say that technology has rewired their brain for the worse, “I fantasise about an entire month away from it, with no news headlines, email inboxes, idle googling or instant messages. The internet means that we can never get away from ourselves, our temptations and obsessions. There’s something depressing about knowing I can literally and metaphorically log on to the same homepage, wherever I am in the world.” (Naughton). We are getting a lot dumber due to the fact that we have instantaneous access to information that we don’t know. According to The Atlantic, information is extremely easy to find, “Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after.” Instant access to information also has downsides, “The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing.” This instant access to information makes us have shorter attention spans. We can’t focus on somethings as long anymore and we can’t get the details of the information that we are presented with.

Technology has even taken over how we communicate. Before technology we had to use letters or talk to people. Letters could take a long time to get to their designated location. Now we just use technology (Facebook, Instagram, SMS, etc.) to communicate with people. Using technology makes the message that we are needing to send instantaneous. We forget how to actually communicate with people. We have become accustomed to things such as shortcuts and abbreviations. In the past no one ever really used such things. When we talk face to face with someone, do we really use the same techniques as we use online? We don’t. It’s not common to say “lol” or “hmu” or other abbreviations while talking face to face with someone. According to Aging In Place, “All you have to do if you want to communicate with someone in society today is to send them a message on social media or put a call through.” It’s really easy and convenient but behind the scenes it’s stabbing us in the back. In fact, we rarely use them and it sounds weird if you use abbreviations and shortcuts face to face. Internet addiction is also a pressing matter. We may spend hours and hours online, socializing with people. Most of the communication online is not helping with one’s communication skills or relationships. While online, no real socializing is accomplished. Also, according to Skills Portal, technology can increase loneliness, “A person can very easily become addicted to the internet. It is a powerful tool that allows people to stay in constant contact. Through the internet people are able to play online games, communicate via social media sites and share whatever they please. Internet addiction can lead to many strains in relationships. Such as those between children and their families. A child can spend countless hours on a computer, all the while the child may be communicating with friends, but no real socializing is being accomplished. All the time spent on a computer takes away from family time as well as physical and other engaging activities. A study found that increased use of the internet led to loneliness and inhibited ability to manage time.” Technology really makes a negative impact on communication.

Not only has technology infiltrated our most basic communication, but it has also infiltrated our schools. In fact, education is being eradicated by technology. Technology over time will start to take over jobs, including teaching. Losing teachers is very bad. If we eliminated the need for teachers, there would be a massive job loss. Over three million people would lose their jobs. Or on average, 2.64% of all jobs. (“U.S.: Number of Full-Time Workers 1990–2018.”). There are also some downsides to using technology in the classroom. Due to a lot of teachers put on teachers to cram a bunch of material into a child’s memory, technology can be a massive distraction (Klaus). There’s also another problem with technology. The other problem is also the fact that kids primarily use computers and phones for games or social media which is also another problem for teachers (Klaus). Another problem with technology and education is that fact that we won’t know what the job market will look like in the future. If we don’t know what jobs are available in the future, then is what we are teaching our generations even worth it anymore? Or should we focus on the four Cs’ (Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity)? (Harari).

Technology is something that is getting out of control. It has taken over our most basic skill, communication. In fact, according to Yuval Noah Harari, in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, communication is our most basic skill “Humans control the world because they can cooperate better than any animal,” (Harari). This is very bad especially if it is our most basic and powerful skill, as it gives us an advantage over other animals. We can’t lose our communication skills or our education. They are essential.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, July 2008, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/.

Klaus, Julia. “Negative Effects of Using Technology in Today’s Classroom.” Synonym, 25 June 2018, classroom.synonym.com/negative-effects-using-technology-todays-classroom-4130.html.

Naughton, John. “The Internet: Is It Changing the Way We Think?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Aug. 2010, www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/aug/15/internet-brain-neuroscience-debate.

“Technology in Our Life Today and How It Has Changed.” AgingInPlace.org, Mar. 2019, www.aginginplace.org/technology-in-our-life-today-and-how-it-has-changed/.

Thirkettle, Martin, and Graham Pike. “Is Technology Making Your Attention Span Shorter than a Goldfish’s?” Phys.org, Phys.org, 28 May 2015, phys.org/news/2015–05-technology-attention-span-shorter-goldfish.html.

“U.S.: Number of Full-Time Workers 1990–2018.” Statista, 2018, www.statista.com/statistics/192356/number-of-full-time-employees-in-the-usa-since-1990/.

Harari, Yuval Noah. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau, 2018.

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