Today’s Special: A Healthy Dose of Mind Control!

Have you ever gotten to the hilarious punchline of your long, detailed story, only to find everyone around you missed it due to the fact that they were all more interested in checking Twitter or texting “Jacob from Biology” back? Well, you’re not the only one. This week’s readings suggest our use of the internet and mobile devices may be impacting our brains, our attention spans, and even our ability to communicate.

Source: http://teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.com/2010/01/does-internet-change-way-we-think.html
Source: http://teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.com/2010/01/does-internet-change-way-we-think.html

Why is it that I can’t just sit down and watch a movie? For some reason, I personally find myself simultaneously scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard, Facebook news feed, or Twitter home page. And according to Nicholas Carr, author of the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?“, I’m not the only one with this problem. Carr relates by saying “what the net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.” He goes on to say that his previous abilities of being able to immerse himself in a lengthy news article or novel have seriously waned into now being able only to skim the first few pages without becoming “fidgety.” It’s obvious Carr argues that our ever-deepening dependency on technology is changing our thought processes, but he also believes it’s changing our brain structure; “Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory.”

Yet, even if we were able to multitask, absorb all this information and try to focus on some other task at the same time, it could be quite dangerous, and ultimately, ineffective. In Jon Hamilton’s article, “Multitasking in the Car: Just Like Drunken Driving“, the title says it all.

Source: http://my.englishclub.com/profiles/blogs/multitasking-does-it-exist-or
Source: http://my.englishclub.com/profiles/blogs/multitasking-does-it-exist-or

I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say we have about as much access to information from the web and social media as we do to air. This much access to new information is addictive, too. Think about how many times a day you check any of your social media or email accounts. Sometimes, I feel like a gambler! Probably 1 of every 15 times I check any social media do I find something to write home about, but that high from learning something is enough to keep me refreshing my news feed multiple times a day. Humans are naturally curious and we are always striving to learn something new, however relevant that knowledge may or may not be.

But what do you think? Are there any ways you’ve noticed the internet and mobile devices have changed your thought process? If so, how does this make you feel? If not, what do you think is the explanation for that? Do you think it’s possible to exist with these technological advances without becoming dependent on them and suffering from these changes? Or do you think these changes might not necessarily be a bad thing?

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32 thoughts on “Today’s Special: A Healthy Dose of Mind Control!

  1. bjuhasz10 February 5, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    I think the technological advances in our society are a double edged sword. On one hand, I think we are smarter now as a society than we have ever been. I can watch classes on MIT’s website for free, I can Google just about anything and find an answer within minutes or even seconds, and kids can use technology to make learning easier and more fun. The spread of information is significantly faster than it has been in the past.

    While I do believe that the positives of our technology outweigh the negatives, there certainly are major issues. I, just like you, have a hard time watching a movie at home without multitasking during it (eating, texting, playing on my phone, doing homework, checking websites, etc.). I miss the days of going to a restaurant with a couple of friends and just talking and hanging out. Now its more like go to a restaurant with friends and everyone is on their phones. To me, the decrease in personal connections during the last 10 years or so in society is palpable.

    Additionally, I do feel that the internet and mobile devices have changed our thought processes. It seems that whenever anybody has a problem they can’t solve (whether in school or in real life), they Google it and try to find the answer as easily as possible (myself included). It will be interesting to see what kind of positive and negative effects technology has on our society moving forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lewenzel93 February 6, 2015 / 12:33 am

      You’ve made some really great points! I’m right there with you about how going out to dinner with friends and staying off technology is a rare moment. Connecting with people has become simpler through technology, but making a human connection this way shouldn’t be as effortless as, say, accepting a facebook friend request. This kind of simplicity might help explain the success of internet dating.
      But I question if this access to technology is making us smarter as a society instead of merely giving us a wider range of resources. And just how deep could this dependence on technology run? Only time will tell!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mvzang February 6, 2015 / 5:23 am

    Where to start? I really liked the article by Nicholas Carr. I agree with him that as we have moved into this era of non-stop information and social media outlets being in our faces, that we begin to dumb our brains down. I know I have had a hard time concentrating on long novels and text books, and I graduated high school before facebook was even created. I’ve found that if I’m not completely into a subject in school or see the bigger picture of reading something, I simply cannot concentrate on it. It wasn’t until I started to study the field that I currently work in until I started making the dean’s list almost every semester.

    There is no doubt that social media, sports sites, and other news outlets are a much easier way to waste time. If I am at a point where I need to buckle down and finish homework, study, or even blog for that matter, I’ll pick my phone up and waste more time. It’s exactly what these entities like Facebook, Twitter or various other sites want! They want to divide your attention from the things you really need to do and keep investing time on their sites, right? If these sites weren’t so entertaining or addicting, none of us would have this newer problem of not being able to concentrate. There are a lot of advantages to having this technology, and don’t get me wrong, I love my smart phone, but there are a lot of things I could/should be spending my time other than it.

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    • Carly Hernandez February 6, 2015 / 3:18 pm

      I completely agree with you that social media sites are such an easy way to procrastinate, especially when you’re trying to do homework. I find myself on multiple sites at once and even forgetting what I was doing in the first place. I’ve tried deleting apps from my phone just to focus my attention on things that are more important. I think it has worked but that doesn’t mean my attention span or multitasking abilities are better than anyone else with a smartphone. Time will only tell if social media and the internet will change our minds even more than it already has.

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      • mvzang February 8, 2015 / 6:59 am

        True, and I have a feeling it will. We rely on the Internet to do so many tasks. I took your idea and erased a bunch of apps that I used to waste the precious time I have left between being in school full-time and working 50 hour weeks. I think that will help.

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      • efekete February 8, 2015 / 10:04 pm

        What floors me about social media, is when someone really knows how to cultivate a career for themselves from it. Marc Maron’s podcast “Wtf with Marc Maron” has relaunched his career as a stand up comedian. He announces upcoming city tours, when his hour special is going to be released, and what part of the process he’s currently in for recoding his TV show “Maron”. He openly talks about he just sits in his garage with his laptop, and “who’s who” stops by for a quick interview on his show and BAM he has a podcast to release and during the intro and wrap up he plugs his promotions. He recently had a interview with Louis CK that got a lot of attention and was named one of the top ten podcast interviews.

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  3. spgregor February 6, 2015 / 8:35 am

    I agree with the above post, the technological advances we have seen are a double-edged sword. I can see the benefit of many of them, yet I can also see the drawbacks of them. Have they changed my thought process? Absolutely. Parts of our lives are so much easier. I don’t know where I would be without GPS when driving in unfamiliar areas. Imagine we didn’t have the internet and we had to rely on library hours to be able to look up information for research. On the other hand, I can’t stand being in public and watching everyone on their phones instead of having conversations with the people sitting across from them. I really hate listening to texting and phone conversations in the movie theatre.

    Can we exist without becoming dependent on the technological advances? I think the answer is “to a degree.” Of course we become dependent on them, but I think the better question is do we let them control us? Yes, I am dependent on GPS to safely get where I need to, and the internet for research information. Do I let all technology control me? No, I don’t spend all my spare time on social media or with a smartphone in my face (I don’t even own a smartphone.) I think it is up to us individually to understand how to use the technology to our advantage without letting it control us and make us zombies to it.

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    • lewenzel93 February 6, 2015 / 6:05 pm

      I strongly agree with many of your arguments, especially the reliance on GPS navigation. I have no idea how people got around before it! And you say you don’t own a smartphone. That’s quite an accomplishment in this day and age, but I wonder, do you ever think there might be a point where you’ll have to cave in and buy one? It seems like having a smartphone is more common than not having one, and there are probably perks you might be missing out on. Do you think this sort of thing will pressure you or even motivate you to join the smartphone club?

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      • spgregor February 9, 2015 / 7:11 am

        I have to admit I have contemplated getting a smartphone, but haven’t really felt I am missing much yet. I have my computers, tablet, GPS, and they do all that the phone would do. Granted it would do all combined, but I feel I don’t need that constantly at my fingertips. I am one who enjoys the perks of our technology, but in moderation.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. adrianhormsby February 6, 2015 / 9:29 am

    In answer to your question Lauren, yes the Internet and Mobile devices, particularly the App, has not only impacted our thought process but the way we interact with others and will continue to do so in the future. The reading by Nicholas Carr is particularly relevant on this issue. He is dead right when he discusses how we struggle with reading long, particularly academic or scholarly articles. It’s just too much to take in at once. The internet and now easy to access Apps on our mobile phones gives us immediate access and answers to questions at the push of a button. You plug in a question into Google or other search engines and you get an instant answer, voila, no thinking, processing or questioning, the answer’s right there in front of you. So is Google really making us stupid ? No it’s just making us lazy. After a while you even stop second guessing the source of the information, for all we know what we’re accepting as gospel knowledge on Wikipedia may be from a high school drop out in podunk Alaska, who has nothing else to do but post worthless Wiki facts from his cabin during the long winter Arctic nights. Carr’s notion of “intellectual technologies” resonates with the rapid change in information technology that is happening right now. We adapt our thinking and behavior to way the information is incorporated, processed and presented through our web devices. The more portable and immediate the access to information, the more brief, truncated and processed the answers and our thinking becomes. It is no surprise in Lisa Gold’s reading, that even though we use Google all the time we have no idea how to navigate it for serious academic research. As Gold stresses we know the language but have no idea of the grammar. This truly is a challenge going forward in higher education, a whole generation of web users who think they know how to use the internet to get real information, but have no idea that they really don’t know how, the ultimate delusion. The difference between the mentally ill, such as a schizophrenic and the healthy, is that shizophrenics have no idea that they are ill, they lack what they call in the medical profession “insight”. That’s exactly what is wanting in the current generation of users, no insight into their shortcomings regarding their ability to successfully access and use the web to gather the right information. What was most disturbing to me in Gold’s reading was the fact that students did or would not consult a librarian, the very person with the necessary skill to help their information search. Perhaps it’s because they’re human and not up to the task of the mighty machine. 2001 Space Odyssey is truly prophetic.

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  5. Carly Hernandez February 6, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I definitely think that the social media and the internet can be very overwhelming especially when we have it right at the palm of our fingertips. We can constantly be checking our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr all in the matter of minutes. I know that most of us also use our phones during class. Our attention span can only last so long before we feel the need to check our phones to see if we missed out on anything. Since the internet is changing every second we feel the need to keep up with it. I don’t think that any of us mean to be rude or disrespectful when checking our phones in class but I do think there is a time and a place for it. These changes, if we keep going in the direction we are going, will become increasingly harder for our attention spans and the way we communicate with others. This has directly affected me in regards to my school work. It has become even harder to get through studying and I end up on multiple sites not remembering what I was even doing in the first place.

    Everyone sitting in a waiting room or waiting in line will check their phones and not communicate with the people around them. Even going out to dinner we have to keep our phones on the table or on our laps. Our phones go with us everywhere to make sure that we keep connected with the world but in a different way. I also agree with you that it is hard to sit through a movie without scrolling through various apps on our phones, laptops or tablets. In the movie theater you see people texting and sometimes talking on the phone even when on the huge screen in front of you it says “no texting during the movie” but people do anyways. As for texting and driving, that is taking multitasking to a new level. We know it is dangerous and can cause harm to others yet we keep doing it. How much is enough and when will we realize that we are not super heroes and can eat, drive, smoke, text and talk all at the same time while driving.

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    • eakoonter February 7, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      Carly,

      You’re absolutely right! There’s a time and place for us to be using our phones, but yet we can’t stop. We do it in class, in the doctor’s office, in bed, at the kitchen table, etc. it’s neverending! There are plenty of times when I’m sitting in class bored, check my Facebook, put my phone away and then I catch myseld checking it again 5 minutes later. At times, I’m surprised that I don’t go over my data limit. Why can’t we stop? Why do we have to be reminded to not do it? It’s so addicting.

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  6. asibo February 6, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    When reading Carr’s article and other’s reactions to it, I was surprised at how many people seem to struggle with reading long articles and books, compared to shorter articles and tweet-sized bytes of information. Personally, I haven’t been able to identify any negative impacts of internet use on my ability to read long works of writing and concentrate on time consuming projects. Just last week I read a 300-word novel in four sittings, broken up by web- and social media-browsing sprees. I believe that my background as an English major, which involves a lot of long novel reading in short periods of time, helps to retain my focus on longer works despite frequent internet use. Short answer: read more books—they’re good for you. Apparently.

    In terms of whether or not our dependency on internet and technology is a bad thing, I would refer to back to “The Political Economy of the Internet” which we read earlier in the course. This chapter makes clear that technological innovations are “characterized by the non-reversibility of their processes: once a process takes place, it is impossible to return the status of the system before the process” (9). Once a technology is brought to prominence, it is here to stay unless something better comes along that builds upon it. One of the more humorous concerns about the potential reversibility of technology dates back to the displacement of clay writing tablets in favor of paper. During this transition, apparently a teacher became concerned and had written about how he was concerned for the youth of his time, that they wouldn’t know how to write on a tablet properly when they no longer had the convenience of paper to write with. (I’m paraphrasing a quote I had found Tumblr a year ago—I wasn’t able to find the exact source to quote from.) A millennium later, we are still using paper, and it is no longer viewed as something we are dependent upon, but merely use without finding it novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jaemillz411 February 7, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    I think technology has definitely changed the way I think. I too have engaged in constant multitasking. I will be working on a paper, watching an episode of the The Vampire Diaries, and scrolling through my Instagram feed. It is ridiculous the way my mind jumps from one screen to the next. I think I feel guilty when I am just doing one thing. There are only so many hours in the day and I want to be involved in everything. I hate the feeling of missing out on something. But I do find that when I work on one particular project at a time I do get more done. What I do now is I set up breaks where if I feel the need to hope on Facebook or like a couple of pictures on Instagram, I will allot myself a 25-30 minute break, then I have to get back to work. I think a large part of our lives is dependent on computers (banking, the Stock Market, online shopping), but to keep us from becoming completely helpless without it is to set boundaries. Instead of checking our phones 15 times a day we should work on actually interacting with people/friends face-to-face. Be an active participate in life, not just an observer. Because at the end of the day I remember the things I did more than the updates I read about.

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  8. Brandon Coulter February 7, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    As with any addicting and time-consuming “vice,” it is absolutely possible to be completely overwhelmed by the amount of access one has to their own personal addiction. I am in no way making light of serious addiction issues; rather, I am concerned with linking this concept of “addiction” to Internet usage and technology in general. Excessive users of social media and technology can easily become overly-dependent on their beloved Facebook and Twitter accounts. While these sites have nothing necessarily astounding and attractive about them aside from networking and immediate updates of information, its the simplicity and ease of access that attracts us and keeps our attention over very long periods of time. The ability to sit down and scroll through pages and pages of tweets and Facebook posts at any time of the day allows for anyone to be continuously stimulated in small doses. While it has been proven that this serves as a form of brain activity, it is very minor in scope in terms of useful information being intently focused on and processed after absorption. The problem arises from these sources of quick and easy information being used to replace useful, insightful, and scholarly information, limiting our attention span and interest to 140-character posts and pictures instead of increasing and expanding our intelligence through extensive and engaging articles and sources of worldly news. When it becomes so easy to access and understand mass amounts of small and clear posts from friends and interesting individuals one follows, why would anyone bother to take the time to learn and interpret something new and possibly difficult requiring genuine thought?

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  9. kevinpayton1 February 7, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    Technology and social media has taken a control over us. It is almost a common site to be in any public place and see everyone constantly checking his or her phones. Not for missed calls or voicemails, but checking to see what their Facebook newsfeed is saying, or what is trending on Twitter. We have become so attached to our mobile devices and dependent upon them that we can barley function without them. Even kids as young as 10 are becoming so attached to social media and the Internet that they also find themselves attached to mobile devices and computers. Kids can now just Google the answers to their homework or access an entire library via the Internet. But is this the future of education or social life or is it making our kids and us dumber. I posted a question some friends a while ago, could they remember any of their contacts phone numbers by memory or have we relied on contact list to call people. I believe we have become very dependent upon technology. After reading is Google making us stupid I can agree that my attention span has also been greatly reduced and reconditioned for scanning and skimming through articles. I would say that is not making me smarter but rather impatient.

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  10. doniecew February 7, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    I have a hard time tuning into a movie or even my favorite tv show without checking my social media sites, as well. I was just thinking that this morning. I was so anxious to catch up on Scandal and Bring It, but the moment I sat down to watch it, I couldn’t seem to put my phone down long enough to see what was going on. I find this getting harder and harder. However, when I haven’t watched my shows its easier for me to stay off of social media sites because I don’t want people revealing the show.

    I think that it is possible to use these sites without becoming addicted but it has to be a strong minded, willed person to do so. The Internet holds a lot of power this day and age. I also think that it’s becoming more acceptable to be addicted. It kind of feel like we’re being forced to become a part of being in the Internet world or being left out.

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  11. rmpaulk February 8, 2015 / 2:54 am

    I have definitely noticed some ways that technology has changed my life. For one I do feel pretty dependent on it. I feel pretty distraught when I don’t have my cell phone on me, or when someone tells me I can’t use it (like at work or class). At the same time I do feel kind of free. I get a lot of calls, texts, and emails a day, and when I am not allowed to use my cell phone I think of it as a small vacation from the outside world. I definitely check it immediately once I am finally able to, but for those couple of hours I am free. I love when I go on vacation and don’t have cell service. It feels so nice to not have to worry about what’s happening in another place.

    I honestly don’t think it is possible to have technological advances without depending on them unless we limit the amount you can use them a day. Technology has been advancing in order to make our lives “easier”. The cell phone was made so that we can contact people on the go. Social media was created so that we can keep in touch with friends and family we might not otherwise. Having apps to check in on surveillance cameras, turn off house lights, and lock doors are so we have better piece of mind. These advances make everyday life a little easier for you, but with ease comes excessive use, which causes dependency. For example, if schools make it where everything is done on a computer, kids may no longer learn or know how to write. I absolutely love technology and the advances we are making, but if used excessively they could cause more damage than good.

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  12. cseejay February 8, 2015 / 4:08 am

    I definitely think my thought process has changed within the last decade with how I acquire news and information from people online. I have to be entertained quicker, so the slow building stories that some might be used to from newspapers, don’t hold my interest as much. If it’s something I think is important, I’ll grind through it, but I prefer stories that get straight to the point, while giving me all the information I need quickly. I personally feel like we’re still in the growing phase, where corporations need to figure out how to slow things down and at the same time speed things up in regards to how they deliver the news. I think it’s up to the news corporations to adapt and tell the news where and how it needs to be told. So, when we’re talking about the difference between a small post from someone you follow or a lengthy article that requires you to read multiple times, this is where I think corporations need to figure out how to merge the two so people remain as informed as possible. I still feel like I’m in the camp that thinks all this new technology is a good thing, and it’s more beneficial than harmful. I personally feel like its made my life easier, but I’m not dependent on it. In the same breath, going forward, it seems like technology will require more commit from the user, thus forcing us to become depend on whatever new tech is out. Is that necessarily a bad thing? I combine new technology with Internet and mobile devices because basically any new product today either connects with the Internet or needs to be tethered to something that does to work efficiently.

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  13. blcarr February 8, 2015 / 10:21 am

    It takes me hours to get work done due to social media. I mostly use instagram to share my original post then share it with twitter and facebook so all of my family friends and followers can chime in on my post. Because I treat my page as a news source, I am constantly posting be it sports or something really dramatic happening in the world today. I rely on the internet for everything just like many of you who are reading this or are posting on this blog. Now since we have Smartphone’s, I have completely become dependent on the use of the internet. We use it for music like Pandora, social media like twitter, mobile banking ECT the list goes on. I can’t imagine a world without easy access at the push of a button.

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  14. galaradi February 8, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    I completely agree with some of the comments above. I also have a hard time concentrating on long readings about topics I am not particularly passionate about. Is it because of the Internet? I think it’s a combination of things. Life, in general, has become faster paced and the invention of the Internet and Google has contributed to that. If you all noticed, even the film industry has become faster paced. Movies back then will have a long introduction or long scenes. Nowadays, movies have fast paced scenes, and sometimes we can’t keep up.

    What would we do without the Internet or Smartphones? I think nowadays, we would be completely lost. With the new iPhone 6, we can even pay without our physical credit cards with Apple Pay. Banks have applications to check your balance easier, stores have applications to shop, and everything else is accessible on our phones. Our life sometimes depends on the Internet, because we have homework to do online, or research papers. The Internet can be a powerful tool, but if used unproductively, can do damage to us. Our dependence on the Internet has become somewhat unhealthy. Once in a while, it’s a good idea to put our phones and laptops away, and enjoy the moment.

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  15. seananthony3 February 8, 2015 / 5:31 pm

    Often, I jump on the wagon of “communication is wonderful, it allows us to connect to more people instead of a mixed bag we meet in person,” but your remark about being unable to watch a movie really hit. When I am home, I am often distracted by the internet, or having an “important” conversation with someone via texting that watching an entire movie can be a challenge. However, I go to a theatre because it eliminates all of the distractions. If you pull out your phone in a theatre, you are “that asshole.” Often, when I am doing any work, I leave Facebook and Skype open. Not because I like to browse it, but because I want to be there if someone tries to contact me. It has impacted my thought process to the point where I believe that any attempt to reach me is more important than anything I’m doing. Perhaps that’s why I’m sluggish on the page production.

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  16. smkiraco February 8, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    I would say I am a somewhat unique case when it comes to how the Internet has changed my thought process. It has not. Now that is not saying that I am always in deep thought when reading, but what it is saying is that the Internet has not improved myself in a noticeable matter. I have always been fidgety both mentally and physically and quick to move on to other matters when I do not find the details I am searching for immediately or show immediate results in my work. And the Internet surprisingly is not helping much. This raises even more questions when you take into account my fascination with technology. How odd.

    However, taken as a whole I think technology provides more pros than it does cons. Speaking specifically on the Internet, it is a tool and like many tools its usefulness is dependent on how well we can use it. Even though the Internet has been around for some time I think we, collectively, are still learning how to correctly use it. Multitasking has been proven many times to be less efficient than we think. Maybe when we finally learn to limit multitasking then the true good from the Internet will show itself.

    I, for instance, am no exception. I have constantly multitasked my whole life. Lately I have been trying to limit the amount of activities I undertake at once to a maximum of two, maybe three, activities. For example, when working on my assignments the most I will have going on in the background is music unless the assignment requires references. I used to rotate between checking emails, watching videos, listening to music, and occasionally checking Facebook for a friend’s instant message. Because of this new routine I have been seeing some slight improvement.

    I guess in a nutshell I would have to say being dependent on technology is not necessarily a bad thing but its misuse is.

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  17. Emily Rader February 8, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    I have to agree with Nicholas Carr on a lot of levels. The way that we use the web today definitely has a big impact on our lives today (at least mine anyway.) When he discusses his ability to sit and read works such as novels changing over time, that he has become “fidgety,” I have to agree. Before I had social media, or even my first phone for that matter, simple tasks like reading have changed a lot for me. Growing up, my parents nurtured a love for reading in me. Before cell phones, I remember reading for sometimes hours on end. I always had my nose in a Nancy Drew or R.L. Stine “Fear Street” book. I wasn’t worried about checking aimlessly Twitter or responding to a text. Now that I’m older, that peaceful place I’d escape to in a book is much different. Although it’s my own fault for checking, now I find myself thinking things like “Okay, at the end of this chapter I’ll check those texts.” or “Okay, got through X amount of my class reading; I’ll let myself check Facebook really quick.” I feel like I’m always thinking about too many things at once these days. Though part of that comes with age and the increase in obligations, I think it’s safe to say the internet has a hand in it too. As far as the texting and driving, I admit I’m guilty of it and it needs to stop. What has developed this addiction in us to be constantly connected? Is it the fear of missing out, a compulsion or something deeper? I personally love opportunities where I’m forced to disconnect. I love simply being on airplanes because up in the air, I can read in peace without any reason to be glued to my phone, or going up north with no service. I often crave the places where I’m forced to disconnect. The peace of it all is what we all need from time to time.

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  18. nebior February 8, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    I feel that access to the internet has ruined our sense of wonder. To expand upon that, people do not tend to sit and think about an answer to a question. I don’t call my mom and ask how to prepare a meal she made because no I just Google a recipe. If I wonder what makes the sky blue I just pull out my phone; I no longer stare at the sky and just accept that I do not know what makes it blue. These are just the first couple examples that come to my mind just as I am sure some come to yours. I feel that it is bad to lose a sense of wonder like this because we think less. The internet affected knowledge in the same way a calculator affected math. We do not have to sit and think to work out issues, there is an answer out there set up for us already. Calculators help us do all kinds of math and better than we could without it, but we are not doing the work, the calculator is. This is good because it saves us work, but it is bad at the same time because it makes us work less. Just as many of us could never imagine math without a calculator I believe many of us could not imagine life disconnected to the internet. We are already dependent on it and it is here to stay. As with the calculator, this is both good and bad for us for the same reasons just not applied to mathematics.

    –Ben Walker

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  19. mwiedmeyer February 8, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    My thought processes echo those expressed in this blog post 100%. My attention span just isn’t as long as it used to be. I haven’t sat down and watched a movie voluntarily in months, and the idea is always incredibly unappealing to me. My boyfriend, who’s 28 and refuses to use any sort of social media, constantly wants to watch movies and I just can’t bring myself to pay attention. I pick up my phone and start scrolling through Twitter, and he’ll turn to me and remind me that we’re watching something, and I will have completely forgotten what we were watching.
    I think it’s impossible to evolve with technology without depending on it. We depend on so many past technological advances that without them, our society would collapse, completely. Take the Internet, for example. If, somehow, the entire country of America lost access to the Internet, millions of people would die. Our bank accounts would fail, so we would have no money, and all information and programs taking place in the cloud would be erased. The world would essentially end.

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  20. Jason Robinson February 8, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    I agree with the original post. I find myself having to shift my reading based on the class, or the material that I’m reading.

    I don’t think that this is a bad thing, but I also believe that this is something that I should always be conscious of, and in some cases extra vigilante. I think the advancement of the internet, and google is a double edge sword with regards to information, and our ability to synthesize it.

    I think the value of this increase of information is a subjective. I believe that some people will consume it, and attempt to do great things with it that change the lives of many across the planet. I enjoy reading all the disruption that information and technology is creating for traditional business and education models.

    Inversely, I think the increase of information will make those who are already intellectually and socially changed worse.

    Like

  21. Ms.McCollum February 8, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    I have a class where we have to bring a newspaper in and are supposed to have read it. I hate the fact that I have to do that when I just use the CNN app or Twitter feed from various news stations. This proves the fact that technology is decreasing my capacity to concentrate. Although I will confirm this, I would not say that my communication has decreased. I’ll attribute this to my parents. I wasn’t allowed to have texting for the longest time, they claim it was to force me to talk on the phone. Well, it worked. Now with smart phones I think texting language has become much better! It forces people to spell correctly, use full words, and possibly (if they were really ambitious) use punctuation.

    I think that people are starting to become more aware of the impacts and that is good. The changes that technology is making may have been bad but now there is good. In time most advancement are good, society just needs time to adjust and work through it. Technology seems to be taking so long because it is ever changing.

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  22. akuelbs February 8, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    I find myself not falling into the trends of constantly being on social media because i see the lack of there really being a point in it. People browse all the news feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and etc. just to find one thing to post about. The only problem is you waste all that time to find one thing to post about, but what is the point of that post? Does this post make you feel accomplished that you found something to talk about? I personally don’t see the point in all of that. When i am spending my time with friends or family, i make sure i am no on my phone so they know i am fully there to be engaged with them. Every now and then i will look to respond to a text of en email i got, but that will be at a time when the conversation isn’t at a high.
    The usage of our cell phones being able to browse the internet completely enable all of this. I won’t lie, having a smart phone for the right reasons is very helpful and convenient when you need to check your email on the go. But to just sit there and browse all the social media just isn’t for me. I find the more and more people spend on social media they are losing knowledge of simple everyday things. People who are glued to their phone will always tell you about what they saw online, but wont know how to engage in a conversation. The growing generations are being raised in this every changing technology that is geared towards all this social media which is hurting them, because they are losing the ability to hold a real conversation. In the end, the lack of being able to hold a conversation to cost people lots in the business world. So while having smart phones and all this information on the internet is nice, we have to be aware of what we are doing with all this being accessible and to make sure we still stay connected to the world and people around us without using the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. stefaniedak February 8, 2015 / 11:53 pm

    The internet and mobile devices have definitely changed my thought process. Honestly, if I’m watching a movie and see a familiar face I don’t even say “let me think about where I remember them from” I just go to on Google, type the actor/actresses name and get my answer. Same when I don’t understand a specific word, I don’t look for “context clues” in the reading like they taught us to at a young age, I go to Google! Doing this for so long and being so reliant on Google has definitely made me feel less educated and very dependent. In my opinion, these changes are a mixture of good and bad. For one, after I read the meaning of that definition or all the films that a specific actress is from, I never forget it and the definition or news story is so clear and easy to read that I understand everything much better. However, it causes me to think/analyze for myself less which is definitely a negative aspect of our technological new world.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. hessaj February 9, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Social media has definitely changed our thought process and the way we do things now. Whenever i’m waiting for class to begin, or when I’m just sitting there in general, I’m always on my phone, not because I’m addicted or anything, it’s to pass the time. I always use my phone as a way to avoid awkward confrontations, make it seem like I’m busy from people at school asking to join their club, or when I’m just genuinely bored.

    The information we get now-a-days is absurd, you could look up literally anything right now, people back then wouldn’t probably believe you if you told them you had that power. It really is a gift when you think about it, access to millions of webpages in the palm of your hand. And we use this to our advantage, we use it all the time. But it can be over done, I can’t tell you how many times I was trying to look up something for a homework assignment when it’s in the textbook I have for the class, I’m just too lazy, and I’m sure you guys are too.

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