[content_protector password=”pavlova17″]In this swiftly evolving age of modern technology, it comes as no great surprise that we as human have an unlimited amount of knowledge at our fingertips. Or more accurately, the tips of our fingers that are tapping our smart phones. However, the question remains, are we putting the capacity we have to be intellectual into use? Or are we instead using this opportunity to remain updated on the intricate web that is Kanye West’s opinion rather than the deadly attacks on NZ bases in Iraq? It’s a thin line between unaware and ignorant, but are we slipping into an even more dangerous zone? Disinterested.
Don’t be misled, I will be the first to defend the smart phone. To me, there is no denying its overwhelming value. But instead I have delved into the faults of its use and have found with a little research that this hasn’t been particularly hard. It is strikingly clear that humans have become so used to our phones, we have begun to overlook their potential. Beth Feldman, a New York based entrepreneur commented on the ‘dopamine squirt’ you get from your phone, saying “There used to be boundaries, but now there are none”. She’s right, you don’t have to wait for the latest news to be available all day or have to juggle time zones; there’s no shut off switch. However, if a device contains almost everything known to man, should it really be used to uncover everything known to Kim Kardashian?
As a society we could begin to tear apart the online magazines and misleading Facebooks headlines for their greedy tricks, but without an audience, even they become of no value. As a Nation we could look to the corporations that sell us overpriced phones, but without buyers, even Steve Jobs would have been quickly out of business. As an online community we could look to the celebrities promoting unobtainable lifestyles, but without followers they couldn’t make thousands off of promotional posts. So here’s the problem: us.
Admittedly, when I wake up the first thing I do is to check social media before I look in the direction of a newspaper. I recently began following a profile on Instagram that posts daily news updates. Now, one out of the 267 profiles I follow may be of actual use to my intellect. And yet, still I felt proud. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “How progressive of me.” But progressive is hardly the word that can be used. Instead, all those who use the time they spend at a screen like I do are quite at risk of becoming a little bit dense. There is nothing that can be said for those of us who may end up depending more on our devices than our brains.
While our parents have been trying frantically to save us from this fate for years, even they have succumbed to the pull of modern technology. Teenagers nowadays can say that their parents update their Facebooks more regularly than they do. Dr. Ramlakhan claims the generation who remember life before technology are still in the excited phase of responding to it. In this case it seems solutions are limited. Going cold turkey from technology simply isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but neither is the abolition of mind-numbing, click-bait, money-hungry websites.
So this leaves us to fall back on something that should have been utilised a long time ago. Instincts. Good, old-fashioned human instinct. Even if you are devastatingly bored and you stumble across
a devastating article on a “devastating” feud between Kate Middleton and Beyoncé: DON’T CLICK IT. Find out something that is really going on in the world today. Read a book. Call a friend. Watch a re-run of your favourite show. Listen to your favourite album twice. Do it all from your phone. Anything other than following that link. Don’t mind me, I just sometimes wish I’d spent more time reading up on the universal refugee crisis than the onset cast drama of The Big Bang Theory.
Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Do you believe the news we read on our smartphones is an issue?
2. How can you tell whether the news you are reading is real or fake?
3. What are some ways you can think of to help people avoid getting sucked into these news sites?
1. Ask their parents how they found out news when they were younger? Make sure to ask how they confirmed news they heard, when they were unable to search it up.
2. Read todays newspaper or watch today’s news. Compare it with the daily news on a website that is unreliable. Compare the differences and write them down.
3. Ban yourself from looking at any click-bait articles for the day. If you’re brave, ban yourself from your phone. Compare the benefits and downfalls of both.