I noticed at the grocery store the other day waiting for the clerk to resolve a card error, then again when I was trying to do simple math without a calculator, and yet again sitting at my computer frustrated because it was taking time for something to load (all of about 10 seconds) that the way I feel about time and information is completely different than it used to be. I’m not only impatient when the world doesn’t respond to me instantaneously, I’m worried that something’s wrong with me when I can’t do the same.
The worries raise a host of questions. Is my 1960’s- born brain equipped to handle the rapid increase in personal technology? Can we inadvertantly fill our brains so full of sensory input that storing new data is difficult and retrieving what’s already in there becomes more challenging as we age? Seeing how adeptly my twenty-something son and my friend’s younger children navigate the world through their personal “devices”, I wonder just how differently their brains have developed and if our technology is generating some sort of physiological shift in the way the brain works just as every tool man has ever created has done in the past.
At 50 years old, I’ve seen an exponential shift in information technology. This hilarous video clip from Conan O’Brien explains it better than I can (AND illustrates my point about instant gratification-how easily I found this thanks to a blogger I don’t even know–thanks Cemetary Mary):
And this video is a year old, but the message is pretty clear. Should those of us born on the edge of this information revolution be so worried we can’t keep up? Seems to me most of us are doing pretty damn well with what we got…