IS ‘SMART’ MAKING US ‘DUMB’?

You’re reading an article online and the next moment you get a WhatsApp text from your friend- “You wouldn’t believe what happened”. Quite naturally, you’re intrigued by the intricacies of the matter that remain a secret at that moment and the next thing that you know is a wave of social- media savvy abbreviations, minted with a lark of misspelt words, crafted in the form of a frenzy. Being social beings, we internalize ideas from socialization which in a virtual environment has resulted in compulsive behavioral pattern.Checking our phones incessantly interrupts calm and focused thinking, broadly termed as memory consolidation. Such is the extent of human indulgence in the frills of technology.

Nicholas Carr, the author of The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains, has very lucidly argued that the Internet is making us more superficial as thinkers. Google as a tool has left us tied to its strings. A bunch of students assigned a research paper tend to replicate ideas rather than stringently working on originality.Whirling further into the ‘smart’ sphere, new additions like face recognition and voice automation have now been established. While the grass is green on this side, is the other side lurking with the advent of identity theft threats? Potential hackers have the tendency to come up with algorithms that decode these features. Do these technological highlights not boil down to a big hat, no cattle?

These questions are far more concerning than one would ideally think. But, at the same time, we are drawn into considering how the inquisitiveness of a curious child is fueled by such a platform. The education sector is in lieu of a transformation with websites like Edx, Coursera, Udemy, etc. Our queries are not restricted to answers by textbooks; our voices are not silenced by societal stigmas. What lies in the middle of this boon is a sense of responsibility: to restrict ourselves from consuming the wide spread content more sumptuously than we actually should. Judicious utilization of technology is more like a cliché that we keep hearing about. So, let us turn this overused opinion into an overly emulated action. It’s time to pledge to not let ‘smart make us dumb, instead we should use the opportunity, to become smarter than it.

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