Don't Make Me Think, It Hurts

August 21 2013

We don’t have to remem­ber how to spell words cor­rectly, only cor­rectly enough so spellcheck rec­og­nizes it, and our GPS gives us an excuse for never remem­ber­ing how to get any­where, since we can figure it out on the way. We sub­sti­tute face-to-face friend­ships for dig­i­tal ones and set reminders to call them on their birth­day. Or, you know, just leave them a Happy Birth­day” post on their Face­book time­line.

Our cur­rent tech­nol­ogy has the poten­tial to ruin our cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties in the name of con­ve­nience and main­te­nance.

Gen­er­a­tions ago fam­i­lies used their bodies as part of their liveli­hood. They worked in fields and farms. They were black­smiths and car­pen­ters. How­ever, once the Dig­i­tal Rev­o­lu­tion took over, we started sit­ting a lot, and our bodies became weaker, prompt­ing us to lift weights, run, walk, swim, and cycle to keep it healthy. We have to make time to use our body, whereas exer­cise”, if you can call it that, was nat­u­rally built into our ances­tors’ day. 

A sim­i­lar par­al­lel is hap­pen­ing with modern tech­nol­ogy: it’s slowly strip­ping mental processes from common tasks. Think for a moment, do you know your sig­nif­i­cant other’s phone number? Soon enough we may be forced to inte­grate mental games and chal­lenges into our daily lives to keep our mind sharp. In fact, it may already be hap­pen­ing.

When using or cre­at­ing an app or web­site where con­ve­nience is a pri­mary goal, be aware of mental obe­sity.