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How does technology change our brains and society?

Discussion
Sep 25, 2012
by: zoep
Technology By Christopher Ayers a Youth Voices pool photographer on Flickr

Technology has increased dramatically. People say technology is taking over, which is true. Is that a bad thing? I started to think maybe technology has a negative effect on us and we don’t even know. This topic caught my eye and I became interested to know if it’s possible for technology to rewire our brains. This is how my topic came about. Does technology change our brains and society, and if it does, how?

Most of the research I did was based on what others think about this topic too. There were no real facts/evidence that this might be true. Do we really need evidence? Not everything can be proven in a lab. The research I did opened my mind and gave me new things to question and think about too. I think most people don’t realize how much technology has an effect on us. They're so used to it. They don’t stop and wonder whether or not there might be a negative side to all of this.

It is said that our brains are plastic. We adapt to the environment that they’re in, but we just don’t know whether that will lead to necessarily positive or negative outcomes. The effects of technology are not straightforward. This makes you wonder whether or not it affects our emotions and types of intelligence too. If our brains adapt to everything quickly, then it probably doesn't have a significant effect on our brains after all. In the 90’s, one of the big things was being able to find information as opposed to being able to remember it. People back then used to memorize everybody's phone numbers and it took time to get information. Now we can get information in a second. I got this information from my first source: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Feb11/HancockOneDayU.html.

I started to dig deeper into the topic, and came upon this second source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128236.400-susan-greenfield-livi.... This article is basically saying that people rely on lab and evidence too much, and they don’t think. Sometimes you can’t just go into a lab and get the evidence overnight. This is totally true. It says the environment can change our brains. Susan Greenfield reviewed evidence that there’s a change in violence, distraction, and addiction in teens. It’s increasing by the minute. People spend most of their waking hours using technology.

My third source is: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/daniel-willingham/is-techn.... It says that we are becoming multi-tasking masters and our attention span is getting shorter. We’re supposed to use it as a tool. We need to use it wisely. It doesn't necessarily change our brains, but just knocks it around a bit. Technology offers the opportunity for expression to things that kids’ brains have always wanted to do. It’s hard to resist technology.

After all this research about technology and it’s effects. I come to realize maybe it’s nothing to worry about. This is what makes our world better. We can’t imagine our world without cars, computers or washing machines. There’s a lot of changes in our lives due to the advancement in technology. The only negative side to it is being more anti-social and the distractions. Technology has made communication easier such as phones and computers. Everything is durable, faster, efficient, reliable and cheaper.

Comments

Slow down.

Submitted by monicatheresaking on Fri, 2012-09-28 15:48.

I think technology is taking over but it's also a bad thing. This year my school gt iPads and before when I walked into a class everyone would be talking but now with everyone having an iPad I walk into a class and it's kind of an eerie silence I her with everyone sitting there on their iPads. I think our generation should slow down with all the technology we use

It's what you make it

Submitted by MitchellT on Sat, 2012-09-29 17:23.

Firstly, I believe that everything is fine in moderation. If the availability and quality of technology is increasing, people can use this technology to benefit their lives (the goal of technological advances), or ruin their lives. For example, one person may use his/ her iPhone to set daily reminders and stay in touch with family and friends, which is obviously a positive product of technology. On the other hand, one person may use his/ her iPhone to avoid responsibilities by playing games, texting meaninglessly, or watching movies. This use of technology is the WRONG use and may cause failure and emotional distance/ emotional separation from family and friends. So, since technology is what you make it, I say YES to more of it in the modern world as long as we can be responsible.

Technology

Submitted by Travisbraithwaite on Sun, 2012-09-30 23:11.

Technology makes everything faster and easier which is why we use it so much. "I started to think maybe technology has a negative effect on us and we don’t even know." I agree technology is very helpful and makes life a lot easier but we need to be careful and not become obsessed with it or rely on technology too much.

Interesting

Submitted by sarahjane97 on Mon, 2012-10-01 06:56.

Hi! I find your post to be very interesting, and it makes me realize how much I have to say on the topic of technology. I disagree with your sentence, "I come to realize maybe it’s nothing to worry about. This is what makes our world better." Just because technology doesn't physically damage our brains doesn't mean its impact is any less. The other day, I saw two teenagers on a date at a restaurant, sitting across from eachother without talking...just texting. How sad is that? I think we shouldn't underestimate how bad antisocialism can be for our society.

@sarahjane97 Omg, that's

Submitted by zoep on Mon, 2012-10-01 09:54.

@sarahjane97 Omg, that's crazy about that date. Lol that is really sad

This piece explains the

Submitted by jessicaaaaa on Mon, 2012-10-01 08:24.

This piece explains the factors of technnolgy that lead people to beleive that it changes our ways of life and the societies. You talk about both sides of the situation well. I agree with ". This is what makes our world better," for our world wouldn't be as it is without all of the advancement in technology we have now. We shouldn't question technology but embrace it and the effects it has, or else our world would have ever come this far! Your commments on technology are easy to understand, yet have a powerful meaning behind them!

Thanks @Jessicaaaaa :)

Submitted by zoep on Mon, 2012-10-01 09:24.

Thanks @Jessicaaaaa :)

@monicatheresaking Right. Now

Submitted by zoep on Mon, 2012-10-01 09:23.

@monicatheresaking Right. Now my school just has apple laptops and we do all our work and stuff on there. It's so silent now. Back then everyone in school used to talk to each other. Now we all strangers to each other.

How does Technology Change our Brains and Society?

Submitted by DanB on Wed, 2012-10-24 12:04.

I think that it is nor good or bad, but rather both. My viewpoint on this topic is that Technology is changing how our brains work, symbolically and physiologically. Furthermore, even with schools people are getting answers off the Internet and aren’t thinking for themselves anymore. In addition, the Internet can promote quick reading, plus rushed and distracted thinking. On the other hand, we've survived more essential change to how we assess and access information. Among the differences between the Pros and Cons, the Web promotes many things that could be used for the opposite reason, creates information abundance that can become information overload, and allows for the creativity of young people, but then undermining the adults, etc. “The Internet and digital technologies are reshaping our culture, economy and society in most ways for the better. As with previous revolutions driven by technology, whether it is the rise of literate and scientific culture with the spread of the printing press or the economic and social globalization that followed the invention of the telegraph, what matters now is not the new capabilities we have, but how we turn those capabilities, both technical and social, into opportunities.”

negative and positive

Submitted by Gehad H on Mon, 2012-10-29 13:50.

I agree about what you said. Technology has a positive side to it and a negative one. Something positive about technology is that it really helps us in life, for example cars, they help us get around to far away places. A negative thing about cars is that people can rely on it too much, like if they wanna go somwhere a 5 blocks away they might drive there than walk, and that can cause lazyness.

Technology has a tremendous

Submitted by tom petty on Fri, 2013-02-08 11:12.

Technology has a tremendous anti-social and distractions to the human brain. The Ipad is a resource teens and businesses use in the everyday world. Teens began to be distracted doing more technological gaming than something that has to do with a physical or educational program. Living in an interactive lifestyle, you experience happiness and intelligence esc. If you have intelligence, you would feel good about yourself.

Dear Zoe,I really agree

Submitted by hrampersaud on Mon, 2013-07-22 20:35.

Dear Zoe,
I really agree with your post, "How Does Technology Change our Brains and Society?",because I honestly believe technology actually affects every person in an original and unique way.

One sentence you wrote that stands out to me is,"I think most people don’t realize how much technology has an effect on us. They're so used to it. They don’t stop and wonder whether or not there might be a negative side to all of this." Technology has become a new way of life,we don't even realize how dependent we are on our phones and computers.For instance,if you've ever seen one of those reality shows where they take someone out in the wild without technology for a week or so,you would see how much the human race is suffering.

Just like you,I am also doing some research on technology,particularly,"Is technology helping or harming teenagers?" While searching this topic online,I came across this blog,http://technologyandteenagers.blogspot.com .I really liked this blog because it covered many,if not all aspects of technology and the influence it had on teens of our generation.It also gave tips on monitoring your technology You should check it out and see if it's an help.

"Technology has changed rapidly; it is hard to predict what will happen in the next six months. If we ask a question whether media technology is good or bad, I believe there is no answer to this question. Technology is a double edge sword; it can be used for good purposes or for bad purposes."

Impacts of Media Technology on Teenagers.
Untitled
In-text: (Impacts of Media Technology on Teenagers 2013)
Bibliography: Impacts of Media Technology on Teenagers. 2013. Untitled. [online] [Accessed: 23 Jul 2013]

This statement shows that we can't actually declare technology a good thing,nor as something that is possibly scarring the development of the upcoming generation.

Based on this text,I do agree with the argument you have proposed.We cannot base the affects technology has on us on mere statistics,because the human race is more than that.Everything depends on how an individual adapts to their environment.

I think you've made some really good points in your writing.I really hope to hear more from you.Be sure to read my post on technology,http://youthvoices.net/discussion/technology-helping-or-harming-teenagers .Hopefully,we can collaborate,and enhance both of our ideas.

Fascinating!

Submitted by s.ramos2049 on Thu, 2014-04-03 10:08.

Dear Zoe :

I am interested by your post, "How does technology change our brains and society?" because technology does have a big effect in society and it has make a big difference by the way everyone communicates. It’s interesting because technology might affect the brain on its emotions and intelligence.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: "If our brains adapt to everything quickly, then it probably doesn't have a significant effect on our brains after all." I think this is fascinating because technology might not affect the brain at all because we get attached to everything and don’t even realize it. Also, it’s fascinating because technology usually has a big effect on people and how they act but it’s possible that it doesn't.

Another sentence that I enjoyed was: " Technology has made communication easier such as phones and computers." This stood out for me because technology has affected society in a positive way because it made everything easier for everyone. There are more resources that are now available that weren't before, which is very helpful for everyone. Also, everyone in this society uses phones more commonly because there is almost everything you need in it such as social media, music, internet and much more.

Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time when I was in school my English teacher had told me that I had to write a biography of myself as an assignment that was due a day after he assigned it. When I got home I was going to start and type it on my laptop, but at the time my laptop was not working. Therefore, I was confused towards what to do so I decided to use my phone and type it in a Google document instead of wasting my time trying to fix my laptop all night. My phone was very useful at the time, thanks to social media and technology.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because the topic you chose to write about was interesting and it’s a big idea in today’s society, that is always being discussed. Furthermore, your topic on technology and its effects grabbed my attention with so much different information about it that I enjoyed.

Interesting

Submitted by thompsona45 on Fri, 2014-04-04 08:43.

Dear Zoe :
I am amused by your post , "How does technology change our brains and society? " because I feel that technology actually does affect our brains and a society. Technology has advanced over the years.

One sentence you wrote that stood out to me is: "The effects of technology are not straightforward. This makes you wonder whether or not it affects our emotions and types of intelligence too." I think this is true because technology can affect our emotions. Nowadays, there are so many ways to hurt people through the internet. You say things behind a screen and don’t realize what you are doing. It also affects our intelligence because we do not complete homework assignments the same way.

Another sentence that I agreed with was: "People back then used to memorize everybody's phone numbers and it took time to get information. Now we can get information in a second." This stood out to me because back in the days, when a person wanted to do some type of research, or maybe read a book; they had to go to a place called the library. In the library, you check out books to look through them for whatever topic. Now when a person says library that name is doesn’t exist. People rely on search engines such as: bing, yahoo, google, or ask.com for answers.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because because I had a lot to say about this topic. It has been a very long debate that my friends, family and I have been having about how technology affect the brain and whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.