Technology and Society

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Destructus86, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Destructus86 Registered

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    OK! Before I even start I just want to say this is NOT an anti-tech post. I love technology. I think if used right can only benefit humanity on nearly every level and I can’t wait to see what tech marvels are in store for our future.

    Having said that…I believe our culture has allowed technology to really affect us on a psychological and social level to a degree that it actually harms us as a society as a whole. Thanks to devices like Smartphones we have more ways to keep in touch with people at any time of the day and yet it’s been shown we spend less and less time actually talking to people in person than we have in the past. A lot of this is due in part to phones now allowing us to also stay connected to work and our busy lifestyles much easier. We text more than we talk, we stay connected more often than being disconnected.

    When we drive around with the family we put a blu-ray on for the kids in the back seat instead of actually talking. Instead of sitting with family at dinner, we turn on the TV or look at our tablets. Instead of parents spending time with children at home they do their own things while the kids play Xbox. In technology that’s based around interaction, we actually have a higher amount of quantity time and a significantly lesser amount of quality time. It’s been said in many studies and articles in the past 2 years that we are a people that are becoming more and more isolated due to this quantity over quality equation influencing the course of society. Some have even indicated that mass shootings may just be one side effect of an isolated culture.

    I’m sure some will dismiss this post as trash and others will laugh it off. But I think that may be because we simply just don’t want to give up what we have. Change is too hard and too personal. In American culture we live to rebel, we don’t want to be told how to live or what to do. We don’t want to admit we need change because we want OUR WAY. It’s what our society is built around, look at media for proof of that. And if we don’t…what will happen to our society as it continues on this path? I think that is something no one can really know for certain, but I highly doubt it will be anything good.
     
  2. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    Do you understand when our parents were growing up and they had a question about anything, they had to research? Go to a library, town hall, scrounge up old newspapers to figure it out.

    Google has made the world dumber. Everything in this world invented for society has one rule above all "How do we make X easy for the consumer"

    This mentality has turned technology into a crutch.
     
  3. Destructus86 Registered

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    I did read a study along those lines a while back on what you just said. Having information so readily available (heck, even spell check) made it so we can have all the info without actually learning it. I think you're right.
     
  4. Soapy Registered

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    You're implying less face to face time is inherently bad. It isn't, it's just a different way of doing things. We humans will adapt to current and future technologies the way we've adapted to everything else in the last couple hundred thousand years.
     
  5. OutRiddled Registered

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    I believe the problems come from the lack of change, not because of it. Only technology can bring positive change to society. Not politics, or religion.. Because we are talking about age-old problems, here. Problems only technology (and it's intelligent application) can solve..
     
  6. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    Well, when I see a family dinner, with each family member having their face in a tablet or smart phone, it does make me wonder.
     
  7. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    So you're saying having access to information quicker is making us dumber?
     
  8. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    I would argue that it makes people think they know things they really don't.

    Why bother to learn stuff when your phone can tell you?
     
  9. Destructus86 Registered

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    Exactly...how is it exercising your brain (which is the best way to describe it as the brain works just like any muscles in your body) if you have all the answers given to you.
     
  10. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    But when you look something up, you still have to read it, grasp it and understand it. Its really no different than looking it up at the library, only you don't have to do all the leg work.
     
  11. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    True, but I don't think that's the case in most instances.

    For example, if I ask you what the capital of Bolivia is, and you look it up. Odds are by the end of the week you have forgotten that. And if you answer dozens of questions like that, you'll give dozens of answers you won't remember by the end of the week.
     
  12. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    I really do. Before if you wanted to know what quantum physics were you had to go to a library and read books on quantum physics.

    Now I just wiki quantum physics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

    and its right there.

    I feel like this type of "information overload" everything at our fingertips has made our society ADD. We have a harder time focusing on one task because there is just soo much right at our fingertips.
     
  13. Soapy Registered

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    I would pose the question; Does it really matter if anyone retains all those little factoids they learn in high school? Unless you're a professional Jeopardy contestant, I would say not. And this is working on the assumption that people actually "learned" anything like that prior to the internet, which I don't think they did. They "learned" it until they needed to be quizzed on it, or until the information was otherwise no longer useful to them and then they forget it. It's no different now, except it's more convenient.
     
  14. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    All I know is my mind has more gifs/meme's stored than I would care to acknowledge.
     
  15. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    Depends on the person. I tend to retain facts like that. It's my dream to be on Jeopardy!:csad:
     
  16. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    100% agree

    We have no more ambition to learn because places like Google/Wikipedia exist. We have the worlds information at our fingertips.
     
  17. Destructus86 Registered

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    You know...I don't think it matters if we retain the information so much. I think it's more important to make the effort to learn it...because just that act of study works your brain.
     
  18. Manic User title? USER TITLE?!

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    I think some people tend to romanticize certain things that we as a society did before technology made it more convenient.

    In the original post, Destructus wrote, "When we drive around with the family we put a blu-ray on for the kids in the back seat instead of actually talking." I went on quite a few road trips during my childhood, none of which had the added convenience of a television in the back seat, and my family still didn't talk. We kids slept, looked out the window, and read.

    Me opening a tab and checking Wikipedia for a random factoid isn't much different from owning a stack of encyclopedias. They both just give you the gist of whatever topic you're researching, and I'm just as likely to retain knowledge from one as I am the other. Wikipedia just happens to be less reliable.

    "Instead of parents spending time with children at home they do their own things while the kids play Xbox." Replace the Xbox with any number of board games, card games, or books, and you've still got the same problem without the technology.
     
  19. The End Registered

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    I just want to stay at home and play video games.
     
  20. Marvolo Registered

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    We currently have access to the entirety of recorded human history and knowledge at our fingertips in seconds. We as a species are no longer dependant on the storage capacity of our own brains. But, yeah, technology, is making us dumber.:o

    I won't deny that we take tech for granted and abuse the power it gives us, but we are not getting objectively dumber.
     
    #20 Marvolo, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  21. Vid Electricz Registered

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    The "leg work" is part of the learning though. You won't take for granted what you have to work for (in any instance).


    In other words, you'd be alone in your head, with only your thoughts, giving you time and space from distractions to think, imagine, wonder, reflect... No need for that now, when you can watch your favourite movies and tv shows instantly AND play your favourite mind numbing angry birds game ANYTIME YOU WANT.

    Are you seriously comparing Xbox to board games and books? lol. I'm sorry.


    As an aside, you can already see a VERY apparent difference in general behaviour, expectations and ways of interacting that smartphones and constant, easily accessible internet access has had on people. It's most obivious in the dead eyes of overstimulated, overindulged children.
     
  22. Manic User title? USER TITLE?!

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    1. My favorite movies and TV shows sparked my imagination when I was a kid. I often wondered what else the characters got up to, especially after the movie's ending. I used to talk my step-brother to death about stuff that happened in my favorite cartoons. In fact, I see a lot of kids do this. It's almost as if kids don't turn their brains off when they watch movies.

    2. Reading gives you a pre-written story and distractions the same way a movie does. Re-reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School isn't inherently better than watching a Doug marathon.

    3. I hated looking out the window and just watching stuff pass by.


    You're right, that probably isn't a fair comparison. Xbox is more stimulating than a board game and more interactive than a book. But they're all popular pasttimes that keep kids engaged and distracted.


    I think it's worth noting that while parents today might complain about their kids watching too much TV and playing too many video games instead of going outside and playing, I've seen and heard about enough from previous generations to learn that parents used to complain (probably just as much) about kids who sat inside and read all day. Kids in prior decades were accused of reading too many comics, too many sci-fi and fantasy novels. Going back to board games, I heard that parents used to be scared that kids were rotting their brains by playing too much D&D.

    The opiates of the masses have changed, and I'll concede that people might be distracted more often by technology because of how readily available it makes everything, but I doubt they're any more distracted.
     
  23. TheBat812 Registered

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    Nailed it.

    It's the same idea that back in the day you had to work out your brain by trying to solve problems creatively, or reading a detailed book on the subject. Now you can just get the quick bullet points, get the task done, and never remember it again because you can just look it up later. Just like what GPS's have done in terms of using maps. Most people I know have NO IDEA how to use a physical map, and don't really know how to get anywhere without the use of a GPS. Turn off your brain and go onto autopilot, because it's easier and more convenient. Obviously that's a generalization, but it definitely holds true.
     
  24. Vid Electricz Registered

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    1. I never said anything about movies, TV or videogames being bad. My only concern is the way that these shows and movies and games are no longer moderated. We're inundated with them at all times. I love watching films or a good show from time to time. It's come to the point where there is now an over-reliance on these distractions to keep us satiated and entertained, lest we have a quiet moment to ourselves to actually think.

    2. Reading is the only way to improve ones intellect. It gives you time to pause and reflect on the information you've just taken in. Reading is NOT the same as watching a television program. I don't know how anyone could possibly think that.

    3. Because the most important thing is enjoying yourself and having fun all the time. Right.


    Sorry, this is hilarious. This is one of those instances where, if you don't already understand why xbox and reading are NOT comparable, explaining it would be useless.


    You're right, the alarming number of texting while driving deaths has nothing to do with being more distracted. You can argue that these people would have been distracted by something else or whatever, but all one needs to do is take a look at the statistics that indicate the sharp rise in "distracted" (see texting) driving deaths since 2006.

    More and more you see a group of people sitting in a restaurant, all of whom are typing into their little phones. People at parties, typing into their phones. Kids sitting at the mall, typing into their phones. Practically braindead, staring at the center of their universe, a little glowing screen.

    Like I said (and you've misinterpreted), I've got no problem with the technology, but in moderation (which it's not). The way we're headed is encouraging people (particularly young people) to live more and more in their own insulated little worlds than ever before. It's scary.
     
  25. Manic User title? USER TITLE?!

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    Well, I've already conceded to your main point, so I guess we're done here.
     

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