One of my Facebook friends posted a link to a short video addressing how the Internet is changing our brains. In a few minutes, it explains how we are wired for distraction. We need to think about the consequences of continual access to information. Are we are losing our abilities to navigate, read a paper map, remember things, calculate, to concentrate and absorb information?
Many would like to dial things back. Others want to step on the gas. It may seem as if we are living in The Matrix times, but, unless you want to live off the grid, grow your own food, butcher your own meat, and generate your own electricity, the genie is here, and not going back in the bottle.
The cloud dynamic offers opportunities to preserve ancient wisdom and knowledge. We aren’t losing; we are gaining. My teenage son is now the family chef because of Google and YouTube videos. We can move forward with our traditions intact. We can improve our condition, but we will need to think differently.
Since we don’t need to use our brains to store and recall, or to calculate, we need to use our brains to process and think. The ability to analyse, think critically, and create will be the tickets to the future. Dan Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, lays this out superbly. As we merge with our technology (think Google Glass and Jawbone Up), we need to cultivate awareness and concentration so that we can process and use the information available to us. We need to build and grow real relationships, with our physical and virtual communities. We must understand and expand our humanity.
The world has changed. The train is moving out. Those who aren’t on-board will be left at the station.