I saw a quote on the internet a few days ago written about the movie, “The Breakfast Club.” http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=the%20breakfast%20club&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CEoQtwIwAw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DdkX8J-FKndE&ei=HpmuUYrEIcG4rQGMpIBo&usg=AFQjCNHBusc_zC4FWfQv-3oA6YJGIyZjBA&bvm=bv.47380653,d.aWM
The Breakfast Club is a simple movie about the idea that teenagers, when given the opportunity can get out of the “me first mode,” and can understand each other’s needs and problems. In the movie a diverse if stereotypical group of teens are thrown together as a punishment in Saturday school and through their common hardship of Saturday School and numerous arguments, misunderstandings and conversations develop bonds and sensitivities on a personal level that will serve them well in their later lives. The Breakfast Club was filmed about teen-life pre-technology! The quote pointed out that, “If the Breakfast Club took place today, all those kids would just be silently sitting and texting about their shitty Saturday and never make friends with each other. “ It got me thinking about technology, sociology and learning.
Technological devices do not enhance, increase or advance education or social skills. At best they will allow more rapid transfer of knowledge (or in many cases pure bologna) but in reality in our modern world technological devices usually replace or reduce the need to remember and learn how things work both socially and educationally. They reduce the needed level of deep understanding while ratcheting back brain function to minimal levels, as we evolutionarily increase the strength of the neural connections between our thumbs and our eyes and reduce those between our emotions, memory, and logic.
Much research has shown that brains are not unlike our muscles in that they need life- long exercise to remain healthy and grow In fact they not only need exercise they need cross training exercises to reach their fullest potential. The connections between our brains and our thumbs are not true survival level skills nor will they necessarily stand us in good stead in the potentially harsh real world of the future as “1984” comes to mind!
The evolutionary record has shown over and over again that we must, “Use it or lose it.” As much as many would like to deny it I believe this also applies to our intelligence. I also fear that as the quality of technology increases so does our dependence upon it and ultimately the quality of the disaster when it fails us or even worse when it begins to control our actions instead of our actions controlling it.
I fear that we are already on the downside of this bell curve. Perhaps in 50 years when the frequency and seriousness of senility and Alzheimer’s explodes amongst the technologically dependent we will have an answer but as in most things American by then it may already be too late.