Are Computers Taking Away Your Ability to Think?

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Customer Service Representatives at ComputersYou are sitting at the dinner table, talking to your family and a question comes up that no one knows off the top of their head. Without trying to figure out the answer from known facts, without taking a few minutes to think, someone jumps up and runs to the computer to find the answer on the Internet. No thought involved.

While it has been said that knowing where to find the answer to a problem is as important as knowing the answer, there needs to a point at which this is bad. Using the Internet or a computer to find all the answers to everything is taking away your ability to think. It might not be a big deal to you now, but what happens when the electricity goes out and you cannot recharge any of your Internet devices? Where are you going to get your answers then?

Sure, for the most part, you are going to have electricity and you are going to have your smartphones and tablets, but there will come a time, even a short period of time, when you will have to be able to think for yourself. Technology has made many things much easier for people, and it can be very good. It should still be monitored though. Children especially need to learn how to think before becoming engrossed in the Web. No child should be allowed to use the Internet for homework other than research. Use of smartphones in school should not be permitted.

There are millions of online games available that would be great for teaching you to think. Unfortunately, every game also has a way to cheat. There are websites that will give you the answers to every game. If you need to know how to get somewhere in a game, there is no need to wander around and figure out the area, just look up the map and follow it. If you are presented with a mental challenge to get to the next level, look up the answer and go on, the next time you are playing Scrabble or Words with Friends, bookmark the sites that give you a way to input your letters and get the best word. No need to think about it. In many cases, you can even forego the typing and just speak to your phone to get the answers.

If things continue the way they are headed, there will be no reason to think at all. In fact, everything will become automated. You will not have a job because you cannot think of what to do, a computer will push buttons and get things done. Yes, this might seem a bit extreme, but think about how much has changed in the last 15 years. Cell phones are now mini computers, spewing information at you while you drive down the road.

People are meeting and becoming friends with people they have never met and in most cases, will never meet in person. There is no need to make friends and go hang out at the coffee shop or park, just push a few buttons and meet them in a virtual setting online. If you are really adventurous, you can even meet them in a video. Why waste time, money and gas to get to a restaurant when you can both order food to be delivered and sit in your own rooms and chat all night long? No need to think of what to say, just look up videos on Youtube and laugh.

The idea that everything has become so impersonal is scary. Families do not spend time together, yet friends are in constant contact to the point of knowing when someone is using the bathroom. Social media keeps track of where everyone is and what they are doing. No one just sits in the bathtub to think about the day or what they are going to do tomorrow. It is much easier to just check in on Facebook.

The sad fact is that everyone is doing it. If you were to take away your teenager’s cell phone as a punishment, they would just get on the computer to do homework and end up in chats with friends. Take away the Internet entirely and they cannot complete homework assignments. Tell them to look it up in the set of encyclopedias on the bookshelf and they have no idea what you are talking about or how to find what they need. They have lost the ability to think without using some type of technology.

It used to be fun to sit with friends and think of things to do. When you wanted to play a practical joke on someone, it would take a while to come up with the idea and then implement it. Now, you Google practical jokes and have thousands of pages of ideas, complete with instructions on how to carry them out. Of course, that would take some energy, it is much easier to just send the page to the person you want to prank and let them have a good laugh. No need to think about it, just make it your social media status and let the whole world in on the joke. 

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