Is Technology Making Us Dumber?
We're all becoming more technologically dependent. We have to. But what is it really doing to us? I've had a (very unscientific) theory for years now that new Web-focused technologies and tools are killing our brains. Nick Carr confirmed that in a recent article in the Atlantic. If you haven't read it, do so, and you'll see what I mean. Here's a quick sample:
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. My mind isn't going--so far as I can tell--but it's changing. I'm not thinking the way I used to think.
It gets scarier as it goes on.
So what's the problem, from a worker standpoint? For one, all these technologies and tools are quite distracting. I'm pretty efficient, but I can barely keep up with my Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. And I'm a telecommuter (my company, thankfully, doesn't resist it), so a lot more of my communication with colleagues is done electronically. That means more stuff to monitor.
Then there's overload. Author and entrepreneur David Silverman wrote about a recent experience with e-mail the other day, and it got me thinking more.
I'm not one to complain (eh, maybe just a little, sometimes), but I have to ask: has anyone figured out how to operate effectively in this cluttered new world? More importantly, have your managers? Do they know what all this new technology is doing to your workload? Or what it will do?
I'm not doubting it; in fact, I fully agree. But what I'm worried about is the long-term effect it will all have on the way we work, and the way we think. In other words, I'm wondering how right Nick Carr is.
So what do you think?
P.S. I hope reading this blog post didn't further Nick's case...