Since you are reading this now, give yourself a pat on the back and stick a gold star on your forehead. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have the ability to think things through. More importantly, you can assimilate and use the information contained in a written record. You probably realized long ago that you’re one of a dying breed. The problem has reached such a crisis that it surfaced in the media.
People don’t think
If you’re convinced that today’s average human has the attention span of a ferret on crystal meth, you’re right. Also, you’re not alone. We need to stick together.
It’s not that people don’t have the ability to think, they simply stopped doing it. All the clues point in a single direction. Social Media.
According to Professor Jim Al-Khalili, host of a British life science show, the challenge is that there is simply so much information flooding in “at us all the time” that it’s too much to think about.
Average people can only cope “with bite-sized chunks of knowledge.” Anything more than short tweets or two-minute videos goes right on past.
We don’t have the “wetware” equipment to handle the overwhelming inflow, so we limit the bandwidth of what we think about. Despite our “vastly increased scientific knowledge,” the professor explains, “the human brain hasn’t got bigger or more efficient or better than it was thousands of years ago.”
Technology didn’t put humans into overload until the world-wide-web got strung up. “One could argue we are getting dumber” by relying on the new technology.
Our attention span is shorter
Humans are convinced that technology makes life better but nobody notices that everyone is zombified. “Our attention span is shorter, we are not prepared to spend the time to think things through carefully or discuss and debate ideas.”
Arguments are settled by social media censorship and gun battles in the mall. Fast food workers cannot seem to put the proper items in the right bag. We’re surrounded every day with examples showing the collapse of our technological society. “We need to recapture the shades of gray and nuance.”
This bobsled run down the slippery slope has been an insidious one, so nobody noticed we’re about to fall off a cliff. The researcher nailed it by noting the present “drift towards over-simplifying issues down to a meme.”
The most that modern adults can handle is a tweet or a photo with a funny label. The only thing they seem to think critically about is what magic spell to get the Overpriced Liberal Starbucks barrista to whip up.
In order to solve the problem, someone needs to take the time to focus and analyze the problem. Every day, there are fewer people with the skills to do that. People are not getting less clever. They come up with all sorts of creative ways to get likes and shares on social media.
What’s wrong is that people are “less willing to focus or think things through.” That takes work. After a steady diet of social media and YouTube videos, the “brain cannot cope.” What happens is “we get our information chopped up into little bite-sized morsels, work out what we believe or don’t believe in a flash, then move on to something else because we don’t have the time to focus.“
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Author: Staff Editor
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