Ever since I remember the internet, video games, and cable television have been a part of my daily life. Growing up I would hear stories about how my parents had to find their own fun because they didn’t have regular access to this technology. You would be sitting playing your Super Mario (in my case it was Yoshi’s Island) on your Super Nintendo for a couple hours on a warm summers day, and my mom would yell at my brother and I to go outside, proceeded with a “When I was your age…” stories.
As I grew up, society relied more and more on these new developing technologies. If you were to get into an argument with a peer about who is right and who is wrong over a certain subject, you can literally go on your phone and figure out who is correct in under a minute. I couldn’t imagine having to go to a library, looking up and down the aisles trying to find the right book/article to conduct all your research like they did a generation ago.
When you think about it, we take all this new technology for granted. School libraries are getting rid of their book shelves to make more room for computers; so students can conduct research. With all that said, there has to be some effect on the way we learn and think with all the exposure to these technologies. As humans, our body and mind learn to adapt to our environment. A generation ago it used to be finding your fun as a child by going outside to play with your friends or hard labour as an adult, now you can talk to your friends while gaming on your xBox or Playstaion 3 and most jobs are in the managing field.
Though technology helps us in our everyday lives, there are also detriments when it comes to the way it affects our brains. Some argue that our ability to pay attention has greatly altered. Attention is essential for the way we perceive, retain, learn about, think about, and reason with information. The Digital Natives tend to pay less attention to the finer detail, and preserve only the main idea behind a research article they browse through. This saves these types of people from an information overload, but they might miss an important idea within the reading.
Expanding on the thought of attention, ADD and ADHD numbers are on the rise. Many argue this is due because of children’s exposure to computers and video games. They spend hours locked in front of the television, with games that involve them to give every second of their undivided attention. Once these kids are put in a class room they are forced to listen to subjects they may find boring and are expected to keep focused on the teacher in the front of the room. This is a huge difference in the pace of which the brain operates. Like I said before we adapt to our surrounding environment just like every other animal in the animal kingdom; lions and tigers are very visual attentive in order to track their prey, while animals like deer and rabbits are more alert or auditory attentive so they can run and hide from being hunted.
With all this developing technology in the first world so easily assessable to us , we must look for ways to develop our brains for the better. There is a possibility that there may be an unprecedented crisis that will occur in the near future. We must ensure that we are regularly interacting with our peers face to face to maintain our social skills, reading books for your literary skills, and go out and get exercise,because just like your body, your brain needs exercise too. The brain is the most important organ in the body and is very malleable. So even though this technology makes it easy for us to attend a class, or pass time playing video games we need to ensure we take the time to shape your brain for the better and not for the worse.