Will technology deteriorate human capacity to think?

Prompt: As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.

In today’s day and age, owning a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop tends to be the norm. As we have adapted to rely on these technological mediums of communication, society faces a risk of becoming far too dependent. Though the age of technology can be overwhelming and seen as a convenience that comes with adverse effects on our ability to think, technology will not eradicate our capacity to think for ourselves. Rather, technology acts as an extension and a building block toward bigger and better ideas.

As a current Apple employee, I work with hundreds of people everyday, in which we come across several interesting experiences regarding positive technological use. Every summer, as an example, we invite kids of all ages to join in a tech workshop, known as Apple Camp – a camp where we teach kids how to use various software on creating music through GarageBand, make videos on iMovie, and even make books on iBooks! Making songs, videos, and books require the capacity to think creatively and outside of the box. Incapable of developing forms of art, technology works as a medium that grants us access to innovate and invent the amazing songs we hear on the radio, the multitude of films we watch every Friday at the movie theaters, and the collection of novels and textbooks we pile up after a few years of Honors English.

Another instance, in which technology serves as an supplement to our thought process rather than a detrimental factor, is through higher education. Reflecting on passed generations, my family and I love to compare our academic experiences to see how much the times have changed. Back in the day, students had to write papers by hand, gather their resources within libraries, and work with whatever they had available to them. Thanks to the Internet, students, today, have nearly an infinity of accessible resources with the push of a button – “search.” I recently joined a professional association known as the National Communication Association, in which has eleven journals filled with hundreds of research articles. With these studies accessible to me, I have the ability to build off of these ideas, efficiently contribute quicker, and be more connected to my community of scholars.

Imagining what life would be like without technology is nearly like imagining what life would be like without access to transportation, proper shelter, and electricity. When we think of technology, surely we think of the smartphones and the computers, but we forget that technology exceeds the capacity to be a medium of communication. Without technology, we lose a primary mode of communication, but also a key component enhancing the ability to think for ourselves. Surely, living in the Information Age can be overwhelming and because of this, we can grow overly dependent on technology. Still, technology does not deteriorate human ability to think. We do.

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