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Digital Technology Essay

2454 words - 10 pages

Technology is an element of human existence that evolves according to generational progression. Every generation has approached technology and how it impacts their lives quite differently. Younger generations incessantly express their impatience with their predecessor’s deliberateness to integrate innovative technologies into their daily lives, while their predecessors are bewildered as to why their successors are so eager to incorporate such raw technologies. The common terminology used for this difference of opinion is known as a “generational gap”. Historically, we can observe this dispute through the information revolution initiated by Johannes Guttenberg, the inventor of the ...view middle of the document...

The scope of technology and digital devices and their impact on the lives of those members of our youngest generation is enormous. Many of today’s young children have spent their whole lives surrounded by technology that has fundamentally changed what and how they learn. These changes have particularly instigated tremendous excitement in the world of science. The current explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way the net generation lives and communicates, but also is rapidly and profoundly altering their brains. Daily exposure to advanced technology stimulates brain cell alteration and neurotransmitter release, gradually strengthening new neural pathways in the brain while weakening old ones. Because of the current technological revolution, the net generation’s brains are actually continuously evolving at a speed like never before.
The world has now been exposed to the first generation of humans that has grown up with digital technology as a fundamental epicenter of their existence. This young generation has been weaned on profoundly technological advancements that past generations did not have the luxury of experiencing at such early stages in their lives. There are distinct differences between the upbringings of the members of each every generation, although with the creation of the computer and Internet, these differences have become even more apparent in our youngest generation than in past generations. The impact digital technology on everyday life is absolutely noticeable, however research has indicated that digital technology, in addition to everyday life, has a significant impact on the human brain. This knowledge therefore reveals that not only have the lifestyles of two generations but the neurobiological structure and function as well. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, expresses in an early chapter of his book, “Even as our knowledge of the physical workings of the brain advanced during the last century, one old assumption remained firmly in place: most biologists and neurologists continued to believe, as they had for hundreds of years, that the structure of the adult brain never changed.” (Carr, 20) However, he disproves this ancient belief later in the chapter with Michael Merzenich’s discovery accompanied by advancements in brain science. Their revelation: “The brain’s plasticity is not limited to the somatosensory cortex, the area that governs our sense of touch. It’s universal. Virtually all of our neural circuits—whether they’re involved in feeling, seeing, hearing, moving, thinking, learning, perceiving, or remembering—are subject to change.” (Carr, 26) Carr ultimately reveals that the brain is actually extremely malleable and highly adaptive. In addition, the brain’s cellular connections are constantly being enhanced due to the constant adaptations and restructurings. Ian Jukes, author of Understanding the Digital Generation, acknowledges the...

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