Since this is a lecture of sorts, I’ll keep it short. After reading an article in the newspaper – you know, that inky thing that comes to the house via the doorstep – I feel compelled to address the “dumbing of humanity”. The article mentioned how printed maps are being phased out due to the popularity of GPS devices.
Okay, maybe maps are a pain, what with having to fold and unfold them and jamming them into an already full glove box. But… map reading is just one more thing we humans are giving up in favor of having a machine do our thinking for us. Every time we give up learning new skills, we cheat our brain out of its natural tendency to want to learn and fire new synapses.
There is a whole generation of people who will grow up not knowing how to do some of the following: read a map, write/read in cursive (many schools don’t teach it any more), sew on buttons or hem a skirt, fix a leaky faucet or rewire a lamp, make ice the old fashioned way with trays, open cans with manual can openers, tie shoes, tell time with an analog clock, build a campfire, make a meal from scratch, write a simple letter to a loved one using no abbreviations. I could go on, but I’m sure you can think of some of your own things to add.
Why are we so content to let machines or others do these important brain/ problem solving exercises for us? Why are we letting our brains turn to mush?
Technology is great, and I’m not going to throw away my laptop anytime soon. But, if we don’t start exercising our brain with these varied skills and activities, where will we as humans end up? Not as the smartest species surely. As the old saying goes, “Use it or lose it.”
Give your sexiest organ something to do.