Monday, December 3, 2012

Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives

A survey was conducted in which a non random sample of 1,021 people were given two passages to decide which they believed was more true.  The first passage, which 55% of the surveyors agreed with said that in the year 2020 people would benefit from this hyper connected world because they would be able to multitask and find the answers to deep questions due to the fact that they have the knowledge of so many people via the internet.  The other passage which 42% of the surveyors agreed with said that in the year 2020 people will see negative outcomes from technology.  People will spend a majority of their time using social media as opposed to thinking critically and connecting deeply with other people as well as becoming completely dependent on these devices.  There was no choice for a middle ground which afterwords some of the surveyors said is how they actually see it unfolding, making the results a bit closer to split evenly.

I would say that I agree it will be somewhat in the middle.  Peoples brain will be wired in a totally different way in 2020 than in the past.  If I had to chose though, I would say that our hyper connected world will lead to negative outcomes.  I think that it will be impossible to thrive in the world in 2020 without having these skills but I'm not sure that this will be a good thing.  Already I see a lot of these negative characteristics in my classes.  I teach ninth grade and students need that instant gratification, with everything.  The other day we did a lab where there was  fifteen minutes for students to wait and answer questions before they could see the outcome.  They all whined and complained that they wanted to see it now.  Another example is, the other day we used the iPads for a lesson.  One iPad working a little slower than normal.  The student said he was sick of waiting and would just do it on his phone.  I am already seeing this lack of patience and a need for instant gratification.

One example the survey gave that would be a positive outcome is the ability to multitask.  I am not sure that I consider multitasking to be a positive trait.  I think that it is better to concentrate on one task and do it well.  There is a much higher probability that something will get messed up if you're trying to do several things, even if this is how you're programmed.

Lastly, I see a hyper connected world causing more social divide by 2020.  It is bad enough as it is but now everyone feels the need to by iPhones and have iPads, computers, etc.  Many people and even schools can not afford it.  So those who can not afford it will be even worse off in 2020 because they definitely won't be marketable for jobs.

 I would say that I fall somewhere in the middle on my opinion of the outcomes of technology in 2020. If I had to chose though, I see the high reliance on technology causing negative effects.  It creates people that need things now.  They need instant gratification and have no patience.  Also, it will increase the social divide, and increase multitasking, which I don't see as being a good thing.

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