Archive for February, 2018

“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Sometimes I think about what it was like for our parents when we were in school. Can you believe that they actually had to research what they were doing? There was no Google that led them to an answer in under one second. There was no way of quickly finding information in general. But here we are. Living in a world where we can find an answer as quickly as we can type it. Isn’t that something?

This quickness, this knowing information right away, seems like it’s a good thing. But it has already made me question whether or not I am smarter because of it. I think that in general, I have more knowledge than my parents did, because I can find information right away. But because it’s so easy to find, does that make me less smart? I don’t have to put much effort in, and I find the most convenient way to do it, which seems smart. But this information is almost as quickly lost, which begs the question, “Is Google making us stupid?”

This article did not really solve the answer to the question. In ways it does, in ways it doesn’t. Some also argue that the internet makes you smarter. I really do see it from both ways, and I think that the more we find ourselves face deep in these glowing screens, the more research will be done, and the more answers we will have. Until then, I hope that I am not getting any dumber!

“Why I Just Asked my Students to put their Laptops Away”

Monday, February 12th, 2018

I found Clay Shirky’s article to be utterly refreshing. As college students, we really are asked to be able to complete this and that all by a certain date. Most of us have a job or two, so finding the time to do something and do it will is not always possible. As he said, “multi-tasking is bad for the quality of cognitive work, and is especially punishing of the kind of cognitive work we ask of college students,” which proves my point.

With this technologically advanced world we live in, I understand that we have to use our technology. I also know that my generation learns better when professors don’t require us to sit down and read fifty pages of a textbook. Most of us can’t do it because our attention spans are nothing compared to what our parents possess. We are used to immediate satisfaction and keeping things short, so long lectures and readings don’t allow us to learn in the way that we need.

Something that is better will always come along, I know that whenever I feel my phone vibrate, or think that it did, I have to look at it right away. It almost eats at me until I do it. I can guarantee that any student that has a Macbook sits in a lecture and texts for half of the time, because it goes unnoticed. Most of us with PC’s know it’s obvious to have a phone out, so we don’t do it, out of respect I hope. My favorite quote of the whole article is, “It’s me and them working to create a classroom where the students who want to focus have the best shot at it, in a world increasingly hostile to that goal,” because if we are willing to put in the effort (which some students are not), we will be able to learn, and to learn well.

Facebook is Making us Lonely

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

As someone that believes that social media is isolating us more and more every year, I found this article very interesting. We have gotten so used to turning to our computers for conversation, rather than calling or seeing others face to face. As the article said, we are living in isolation, although most cannot go without having a phone in hand for more than a few hours. This need for connectivity is ultimately driving us toward loneliness. We have more and more socialization, but yet we have less of a society. Are we really connected with others if it’s digitally and not physically?

As we wait for contact, rather, some form of virtual contact, we wait and wait, “transfixed by the glare of a screen, hungering for response.” This anticipation is what drives people crazy. As humans, we need to socialize and to find acceptance. But when our crush doesn’t respond, or we don’t get the likes that we were hoping for, we are driven further and further from that interaction, because we just want to be accepted, and we can’t always find that. “We should recognize that it is not just isolation that is rising sharply. It’s loneliness, too. And loneliness makes us miserable.”

I believe that now, more than ever before, social media and new communication technologies give people a false sense of acceptance. People don’t know how to make themselves happy anymore. They think that because they move somewhere new, or start a different job that they will automatically become happy, but that’s not true. “According to a major study by a leading scholar of the subject, roughly 20 percent of Americans—about 60 million people—are unhappy with their lives because of loneliness.” Loneliness has become an epidemic, and until “real life” can be distinguished from the one that people create online, this problem won’t change.