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How Digital Technology Changes How We Think

Kelvin Graddick ·

When computers first appeared, modern thinkers welcome the new technology as a way to help humanity achieve even greater things than it already had. With computer knowledge, you could stop wars, prevent starvation, find the cure for deadly diseases. Or at least, it was the positive philosophy around modern technology. Digital technology, the ultimate evolution of the personal computer into a smartphone or simply into content that is available to all online, marks a new milestone in the tight relationship people have built with technology. The primary idea was that if knowledge is readily available at the click of a button, then nothing can stop humanity from thinking faster and better. But unfortunately, digital technology has not created a world of fast thinkers, as we first expected. It has disrupted the way people think and behave dramatically, to the point where in some areas the traditional common sense has disappeared.

Online, your opinion travels fast

What you post online never disappears. In fact, as most employers check the social media profiles of their employees or applicants, you want to be extra careful about what you’re posting online. People have lost their job over an angry comment or a suspicious photo posted on Facebook or Twitter. Criminals have been arrested after accidentally sharing more than they intended online. The problem with your opinion online is that it takes only a few seconds to share, but it can have permanent consequences. However, it’s precisely these features that Smartmatic turned into advantages when supporting the online voting system in Estonia. A click to vote means that citizens can vote from anywhere without needing to interrupt their working day. Admittedly it’s democratic progress, but you can also appreciate the dangers of the “click and go” mentality. In short, think twice before you click!

Website means reputation

If you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert or to convince an employer that you’re the best person for the job, you know that people are going to check you out online. Instead of letting them discover through your social media posts who you are, you can buy a domain name to create an online portfolio. As surprising as it sounds, more users will google your name when they want to find out more about you. As search results become your reputation – and consequently their opinion of you – building a personal brand online is the best thing you can do.

Click your way to debts

It’s not only information and knowledge that’s available online. It’s also a variety of items that you probably didn’t even know you needed. Millennials, who grew up on the Internet, are used to credit card purchases online. As a result, they struggle with high-cost borrowing and loans to afford their shopping habits. The issue is simple. On the one hand, reason says not to buy. But on the other hand, a click is all it takes to own your dreams. Needless to say, young adults are quick to click and tend to think after the event.

Has digital technology led to a generation of new thinkers? The “I click therefore I am” motto seems to have spread across Millennials, who turn to digital to share their views, define themselves and hoard their lifestyle items. There are pros and cons about the immediate availability of items, thoughts and data, of course. Let’s hope that the pros win in the long term!

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