For Digital Natives, like the majority of students, it’s a given. They were born into it and they live it. But for others, like myself, the very idea, scale and its omnipresence is a truly remarkable, if not scary, process without an obvious conclusion.
It was not until a couple of years ago when I consciously realised the true scale and impact of technology in my life.
I had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the natural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. I began to feel that my mind was changing, that I wasn’t thinking the way I used to think.
I noticed that I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article but now my concentration started to drift after a page or two. I would get fidgety, lose the thread, or begin looking for something else to do.
So I went ‘un-plugged’ for a week and then started thinking, looking for answers and I turned to Google for doing some research. And it’s what and how I found it that made me realise the obvious that so frequently we tend to forget.
It’s the way we consume information now provided by technology, its instant accessibility and already defined content that enriches or inhibits our thinking.
When we absorb information our independent thinking is often led by technology and so there’s a danger we’re subconsciously guided by it, and relying on what Stanley Kubrick would refer as “artificial intelligence”.
“As we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence”.
When we outsource our memory to a ‘machine’, we also outsource a very important part of our intellect and even our identity. It’s harder for us to lock information into our ‘biological memory’.
Kubrick’s dark prophecy still remains to unfold but there’s no doubt that in the creative world digital convergence is now happening fast making visual communications a challenging creative space incorporating, ideas, moving image, sound, 3D, interactive design & story telling and more. So, whether you’re a digital native or not, it’s important to remember where ideas or stream of consciousness are born.
In our own “hard drive”, our brain where we have “plugins” - our five senses (computers only give us two senses: sight & sound).
Technology is a great source of inspiration but let’s not forget that we can get more inspiration from elsewhere. We’re not “alone together”.