Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. The Internet is a power of connectivity, it creates – or it has the opportunity – to create a different level of consciousness.
It can also disconnect us. Even to the point where we sit in a restaurant with a phone between us all. We have all done it right?
Robin Sharma says cell phones, mobile e-mail, and all the other cool and slick gadgets can cause massive losses in our creative output and overall productivity.
I remember my CSYS Math’s class when we had progressed into the world of scientific calculators, I found myself going to my calculator where before I would just work it out in my head (my dad speaks to me through a spreadsheet, it was hammered into me at a young age). Looking back, I felt a shift (perhaps it was because we spent most of our time up at the back of the class spelling out certain words backwards on the calculator – deny it people! Deny it!). Genuinely though, I felt a shift in how my brain worked. Or did not.
As our digital addiction increases as, it seems, our human interaction decreases. Has our online existence put our real life communication on hold?
What does this mean for our children? Emotional and behavioural development requires human interaction – we need to be able to know what a good or bad reaction is and how can we tell that from an IM or a text message? (OK showing my age there – who uses text messages now?!?!).
On a recent subway journey I heard 2 girls talking. One girl made a joke and the other looked up from her iPhone and said, “lol”- with the lowest form of emotional experience possible.
According to the Raymond Cattels 1940s model of IQ there are 2 distinct aspects of human intellect – fluid and crystallised intelligence.
Fluid refers to the ability to acquire and process information – this would be like the processing speed and RAM capacity of a computer. The Flynn effect tells us that human fluid intelligence has been on the increase for decades; the average child today would be seen as gifted in the 1950s IQ studies.
Now, crystallised IQ refers to “what is in our head”. It’s our knowledge.
Nowadays, everything is in the cloud, the crowd and Siri's head and our ability to solve problems depends on the knowledge of where to source the information rather than holding the information in our head.
In media circles they talk about the movement from a content economy to a link economy – we are in the “hyper link” economy – the only knowledge we need to have is the knowledge of where to find stuff.
There are no studies – yet – that say as our fluid intelligence increases our crystallised intelligence decreases.
Perhaps it is just I, but the ‘wise ones’ that I think of have a depth of understanding and strength of character that transcends Google or perhaps the definition is just changing.
The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.
~Anthony Douglas Williams
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