Catharine Nguyen-Pham / The Silhouette
Our reliability on technology is making us lazy thinkers. As technology advances, we begin to rely less on our cognitive abilities. Hardly anyone will bother to memorize a phone number now that we can store it in our phones. How many phones numbers do you know by heart?
We rely on technology for everything. If you are lost, you can easily use Google Maps to find directions. If you fail to spell a word correctly in a text message, autocorrect will fix it for you. If you forget someone’s birthday, it will come up as a reminder on Facebook. If you need to organize your schedule, you can just put it on your phone.
Our reliance on technology has skyrocketed over the past 20 years. This includes our use of cell phones, computers, credit and debit cards, the Internet and cars. For example, smartphones have recently become an essential tool in our everyday lives. We use it to access social media, personal organizing, GPS, the Internet, audio, calling and texting.
Technology has been consistently advancing over the past few years. Do you remember when USB drives with 32MB of memory were the new best thing? That was 15 years ago. Now, their storage capacity can be as large at 2TB. That is 65,000 times the amount they were 15 years ago.
With such advanced technology, it’s no wonder why everyone relies on it so much. It’s reached the point where I struggle to spell and do simple calculations. What’s the point? I can do math with the calculator on my phone and spell-check can fix my grammar. Without needing to learn the rules, I can use my saved time for other activities.
This is completely different compared to a decade ago. I still remember the day when I had to look up books in a library to find specific information for a class project. But now, I can easily use the Internet for research. It’s much faster and gives you more variety than any book would. For instance, if you search up “how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” on Google, you will get over fifteen million results. If you look up “how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” in a book, you will get maybe a line or two – if you are lucky.
With technology having numerous advantages such as being faster and more efficient, we have stopped relying on our minds to think. Essentially, we have become lazy thinkers. Instead of using our minds, we use technology to store endless amounts of information. We rely less on our memory now that we have access to all this information at our fingertips.
So, in a sense, technology is like an extension of our brain. Think of it like a bank. A bank contains of all of your savings. When you need more money, it is readily available for withdrawal. It contains all that extra money you can’t store. Now, to access this money, you just need a bank card.
It’s kind of similar with the technology we have now. Once we learn to access all the information, the less we are able to store in our minds. There’s no need to devote our energy into memorizing a definition or equation when we can look it up.
So, it seems like our reliance on technology is affecting our ability to think. We have become lazier in terms of memorizing and learning basic rules for math and grammar. But with technology continuously changing the way we use our memories, we have learned to apply our skills and abilities to learn how to use technology rather than our brains.