Technology and Attention Spans

Topics: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Brain, Short-term memory Pages: 5 (1729 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Technology Changing Attention Spans
Technology is a notion that will never end. New devices will be released and then advanced endlessly. It changes society by altering the environment in which individuals adapt. Technology now is a concept that individuals cannot survive without; an average person needs technology, to eat, to entertain, to cook, and to do many other daily functions. Let’s face it, individuals need technology to survive. But this is to an extent, for example a computer can be one of man’s best friends, it helps us write documents, it helps us obtain knowledge through the internet, such as searching Wikipedia, and it helps us entertain ourselves with games, movies, and music. But the computer can also have side effects to our behavior, and even to our appearance as Richard Restak, professor of neurology suggests in his article “Attention Deficit: The brain syndrome of Our Era.”. Some individuals get so entangled in this technology that their eating and sleeping habits change as do their behaviors. The Internet actually detracts from the communication abilities of society, especially the young. When individual’s communication skills are gradually lessened, they begin spending less time talking to their family, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed. In constructive teen years, lack of personal communication due to excessive Internet usage can have an overall negative effect on mental and physical health. Communication skills are critical for everyone, yet use of the Internet is undermining this development. The growth of technology has negatively influenced the social interactions of today's society because it isolates individuals from reality, and hinders communication and understanding. One custom that has been heightened by the use of technology has been the way that individuals accumulate information from sources. With the recent expansions in technology, people no longer have to make trips to places like public libraries and search through an unending amount of cards in the card catalogue system. Now they can just turn on their computers and search the ever improving Internet. Society today has become accustomed to using the Internet and they take it for granted. A lot of people will quickly believe anything they read or even see on the Internet. A good example of a website that society thinks gives false information is Wikipedia. On Wikipedia, people far and wide can contribute to information presented on the subjects. Since anyone, anywhere can provide without any kind of credentials, or expert knowledge on the subject, the information has the possibility to be false, but with so many moderators on the website and limitless amounts of people collaborating on the subject, it is doubtful that the information will stand for a long period of time. Historian and author of “The Hive”, Marshall Poe explains in his essay “Yet Wikipedia has a value that goes far beyond the enjoyment of its contributors. For all intents and purposes, the project is laying claim to a vast region of the Internet, a territory we might call ‘common knowledge’. It is the place where all nominal information about objects of widely shared experience will be negotiated, stored, and renegotiated. When you want to find out what something is, you will go to Wikipedia, for that is where common knowledge will, by convention, be archived and updated and made freely available ” (276-77). In recent years Wikipedia has grown into a well-known place inside the internet community. When someone is questioning who someone might be or piece of information such as what an apple is Wikipedia is often one of the primary sources searched. People talk about how intriguing it is that you can Google something and find out about it almost immediately but more often than not, it seems that when a person searches Google they are lead to Wikipedia as their actual source of information. Poe shows his readers that Wikipedia was...

Cited: Poe, Marshal. “The Hive.” Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers. Barclay Barrios.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 264 – 279. Print.
Rekart, Jerome. “Taking on multitasking.” The Phi Delta Kappan. Phi Delta Kappa International. Vol. 93, No. 4 (Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012). 60-63. Article.
Restak, Richard. “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era.” Emerging: Contemporary
Readings for Writers. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 331-346.
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