In 1997 I graduated from high school. At that time I was buying cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and I did not have a cell phone. Pay phones were on every corner and Microsoft was more popular than Apple. I still had a tube TV and dropped off rolls of film at Walgreens and waited a couple of days for them to be developed. We used maps to get from place to place.
Technology has skyrocketed since then. Payphones are scarce because everyone has a cell phone. Newspaper companies are struggling. Our reliance on digital technology is at an all-time high. While there are many things that have contributed to the “dumbing down” of society, I believe that technology has played a pivotal role.
Here are some of the areas that I believe have suffered the most:
Spelling – Spell check
I challenge you to turn spell check off the next time you are typing up a Word document. You will likely notice a sea of red underlined words throughout. Go ahead and correct the spelling yourself.
Math – Calculators
Math problems that are designed to develop problem solving skills have been lost. Calculators and computer programs do all of the work for us.
Reading – 24 -hour news cycle
No one knows the issues because we rely on TV news sources to tell us. No one knows history because people do not read books. So it is inevitable that we are destined to repeat it.
Communication – Verbal is non-existent
Instead of picking up the phone we wait 15 minutes for a text message or an e-mail response. Verbal common courtesy does not exist anymore; people rarely say hello, please, and thank you.
Geography – GPS
If all of the satellites in orbit were to fail some people would starve to death because they would not be able to find their way to the store. Learn how to read a map. Know where you are and be aware of your surroundings.
Don’t be more knowledgeable of technology than you are of yourself.