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Thinking Technology

Technology. Everyone hears about it and is affected by it. It’s made our lives and getting information faster than ever, and it gets faster every day. To be perfectly honest, sometimes it goes faster  than I’m ready for, and I am a big fan of the techno-toys (for example, this little guy is just too cute). I find myself thinking, “This thing will do what?”

Check out these upcoming toys!

We’re also astounded at how fast kids learn how to use these gadgets that we have to figure out; my niece was working the digital camera at her own third birthday, after all.  Microsoft’s PC commercial a couple of years ago showed a four year-old uploading  and emailing pictures- something I had to learn in school and then teach to my mother and grandmother. The answer to this evolution in technological skill, however, is really quite simple when you thinking about it.

The childhood life-stage focuses on learning. We are born with limited knowledge, making everything a learning experience. Because children are always exploring and their brains are focused very hard on learning, they can learn faster. Language acquisition is generally assumed to complete around age 6, which is why children can learn to speak and use grammar quickly in whatever language(s) they hear regularly, but beginning a new language in high school or college is more difficult. Because using technology is a skill, children can pick it up faster than adults can. Adults have also adapted to using other resources, too, so they may be more able to use a card catalog, for example.

Card Catalog: Library Searches Before Databases

Depending on how much you use technology and have adapted to it, people also begin to rely on technological advances. Take the internet, or blessed Google. If we need to know something, we type it in to Google. Locations, phone numbers, directions, restaurant menus, area attractions, repair shops- the list goes on.

It’s natural to begin to do this. It’s fast, accessible, convenient, and we live in a culture of convenience. The problem is reminding our brains to come up with and use contingency plans. What if we can’t get the internet (while enjoying the irony of this statement on a blog on that very internet) or electricity, even? How do we find things? What if, heaven forbid, we can’t seem to find what we want on Google? The last thing I ever turn to is the phone book. I’ve always hated looking things up in the phone book- for no particular reason. Even before online phone numbers I hated going to the phone book. Now, it’s a major last resort. So, looking for a number today, I went through webpages, searches, and wondered who I could call or text for the phone number, when really, I can just go to the phone book.

Which brings me to my thought for the day: Even in our wildly technical world, with high-tech toys and streaming information all the time, sometimes we just need to keep it simple.




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