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.