Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Future - 404 ERROR?

In an article by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, two differing arguments for the future of the human condition were presented.

For the full article: 

     "The argument was essentially a survey of what people perceived the long term affects of hyper-    connected lives will be on the populace by 2020. The outcome was 55:42 in favor of the positive .

 "brains of multitasking teens and young adults are "wired" differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work- related tasks."

The latter: 

"They do not retain information; they spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge. They lack deep-thinking capabilities; they lack face-to-face social skills; they depend in unhealthy ways on the internet and mobile devices to function."

So where do I Stand on this?

Granting that the article itself mentions the bias in that there was no middle ground choice and that i am bound by this convention. I will side with the positive. Am i concerned fro the negative outcomes, yes, but i believe that humanity has enough neural plasticity to combat the ever changing world. I believe that we will adapt, largely for the better, to this trend of media integration.

We do not fully comprehend the nature of sentience, but the fact remains that being able to access a sea of information and form a rational judgement on its validity, form an opinion, and choose a response we will continue to grow as a people.

"Young people accustomed to a diet of quick-fix information nuggets will be less likely to
undertake deep, critical analysis of issues and challenging information. Shallow choices,
an expectation of instant gratification, and a lack of patience are likely to be common
results, especially for those who do not have the motivation or training that will help
them master this new environment."

Clearly this is happening, but the fact is we are just now beginning to adapt to our new multimedia conventions. The world has become a candy store of information and treats, just like when the telegraph first connected the world. It will only be after the shock of the sugar rush, and it becoming an ingrained norm, that these tools will become applicable to their fullest appreciation. This only further supports the need for IT training and internet skills training in the classroom.  

Will there be problems... yes, will they last forever.... no. We will transition out of them. The couch potato was created by the TV, but even with #D smart TV's with web integration, the world has, in my opinion, moved past this stage because of the health revolution. It will be something similar, a trend (perhaps specific training, or a job field) that will do the same for the internet. 

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