Issue: 361 PAge 13 - Mind Set : The Age of Informa...
Tue, 2011-06-14 22:14 — admin
Mind Set :The Age of Information
One thing that usually separates a generation from its predecessors would be its way of thinking. The accepted notion is that we progress technologically as a society, and the way we think, our perception of culture, follows suit, always adapting to our environments in order to survive.
Living in the 21st century, the 'Age of Information', is our generation as sophisticated as the tools we tend to define ourselves with?
On one hand, we as a society have become more aware of what goes on around us. Within a matter of minutes, we could know about a plane crash which took place in Beirut. This heightened sense of awareness has led to our current penchant for "alternative media", while scoffing at the "rubbish" being propagated in government-owned mainstream media.
As we become more aware, we will also be more inclined to think analytically, and weigh our opinions on everything that goes on around us. Therefore, the hopeful theory here is that one day, our society would learn to make the right choices by themselves, instead of being told what to do by the powers that be.
However, we are far from reaching that state of utopia. One problem of such easily accessible information is information overload. With that, it creates a society which has a much shorter attention span. On a daily basis, we are bombarded with insignificant updates about celebrities and trends. At times it becomes hard to sift through all the noise.
Also, having a new-found voice to speak up with, many abuse this power. Thus we have downright whiny individuals who complain about anything and everything in which they find fault. I'm sure many of us know the Facebook addict who complains about and painfully details every aspect of their daily lives.
Extremists are taking advantage of available platforms to have their say. From the most mundane of gossip to life-changing issues, these people take sides over a clearly defined line and defend their stands to the teeth. Amidst the curses and shouts of the vocal minorities, the moderates either silence themselves out of fear of reprisal, or simply choose not to care.
With all the empty words and meaninglessness which surrounds us, it isn't any surprise that today's youth are somewhat emotionally sedated. Many tend to shut everything off and live happily in their own world, as a means to cope with the insanity.
Not surprisingly, having an abundance of technology and information at our fingertips has also made us lazy. Yes, our generation is now lazier, mentally and physically. One beauty of reading an actual book in the pre-internet days was that we get to savor the experience; we do not miss the finer details and are able to read between the lines. It is a very personal experience and the meanings and lessons we gain are ours alone.
By contrast, if one were assigned to write a book review in these days, all he or she would need to do is Google the right keywords, a n d b e h o l d a p l e t h o r a o f interpretations, summaries, and explanations of the book, chapter by chapter, even page by page. This hinders us from thinking on our feet; an essential problem-solving skill any working adult requires.
Ultimately, will our reliance on technology be our downfall, as often predicted in apocalyptic sci-fi movies, or will the human mind prevail, as it has since the dawn of man?
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