Dumb – No, Distracted – Maybe, Impatient & Lazy – Definitely!

Maggie Jackson’s intro to her book Distracted, and Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google making us stupid” definitely makes you take a step back and reconsider the effects that social media is having not only on our culture but on our physiological beings.  I for one can say that the thought of my brain being altered because of my recent Tweeting, Blogging, and time on the internet is more than a little unsettling.

Do I really believe these tools make us dumb or distracted, I say no to maybe on the short term.  It is something new; we can’t possibly understand what the long term affects might be to our eyes, brains, reflexes, etc.  If the use persists we need to be concerned.  Like the loud music hippies and Yippies of my GenX generation, they really did suffer long term hearing loss…   it was real, even if they didn’t believe it at the time.

What I am positively sure of in the short term, is that these tools have made us lazy.  Does anyone actually walk into a library any more?  How about write a long hand letter on special stationary? I feel that their is value in taking time, taking stock and reflecting in a moment that is all ours.

Definition of impatient: Updating Facebook in the bathroom stall…and sending photos to a friend.  Yep, I heard it all “going on”.

That I am especially sure can wait…

2 comments on “Dumb – No, Distracted – Maybe, Impatient & Lazy – Definitely!

  1. hanjunxian says:

    Being lazier is perhaps not always a bad thing. We save time by using technologies. But the key question is: how do we spend time we save?

  2. Mihaela says:

    All tools make us lazy. By definition, this is what tools are for. In fact, most beings (not only humans) are lazy. But that’s not a bad thing. It is a survival principle of conserving energy, and getting maximum benefits with minimum efforts. Observe your pets. They do that, too (many times way better than us!).

    The problem is that the body is geared for scarcity of resources – that’s why we conserve energy. However, in a world where resources aren’t scarce anymore, this instinct doesn’t always serve us well.

    So, I am not concerned that tools make us lazy. I am concerned, however, that I conserve (and store) many more resources than my body actually needs! 😉

    I don’t think walking to the library or writing letters are good examples. Why walk to the library? That would actually be laziness and procrastination – I’d enjoy the walk rather than get the work done. I don’t think immediate access to resources is a bad thing. However, I agree with you that there is value in taking time, taking stock, and reflecting.

    We have to be careful here – it’s really easy to let these arguments carry us away. It’s not that simple, it’s not all black and white. Do all these tools have unilateral power to change us? Where is the place of human agency, and deciding whether to take time and what to spend it on?

Looking forward to your thoughts and comments!

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