Experts are growing more concerned about the effect of technological advancement on a generation of Americans.According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research centre and Elon University, more than half of the 1,021 respondents believe that constant multitasking and zealous decision-making capabilities will generally produce positive outcomes for young adults in the future.
On the other hand, 42 per cent of respondents think that the wired mentality will actually impair cognitive abilities. By 2020, Millennials will “spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge.” They’ll lack “deep-thinking capabilities” and “face-to-face social skills.”
The good news is that Millennials will become good decision-makers and nimble analysts, but the bad news is that they’ll expect instant gratification and will, often, make quick, shallow choices.
“Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs,” says Geoloqi’s CEO Amber Case. “We are becoming ‘persistent paleontologists’ of our own external memories, as our brains are storing the keywords to get back to those memories and not the full memories themselves.”
The respondents in the survey were chosen specifically for their leadership roles in prominent organisations, including Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Yahoo, Ericsson Research, Harvard, MIT and Yale, and 40 per cent of them are research scientists.
The survey concluded that the only solution to minimising the worse and maximizing the best would be to focus on reforming education and emphasising digital literacy.
“Educators should teach the management of multiple information streams, emphasising the skills of filtering, analysing, and synthesizing information. Also of value is an appreciation for silence and focused contemplation,” the study says.
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