- William James
IS THINKING A LOST ART?
"There is no expedient to which a man will go to avoid the real labor of thinking."
- Thomas Edison
Until then we will obey telephoned instructions and adapt them to prevailing problems.
"What is the hardest task in the world? To think."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
It got me to thinking: is thinking a lost art?
I love to read. But I’m convinced that the greatest value in reading is not the information, but rather what we think about while we read (that’s why what we choose to read is so important).
Reading without reflection is like eating without digestion.
Mental clarity is power. And clarity comes from thinking.
As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined, while our visual skills have improved.
Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not,
Studies show that reading develops imagination, induction, reflection and critical thinking, as well as vocabulary.
Reading for pleasure is the key to developing these skills.
Students today have more visual literacy and less print literacy.
Many students do not read for pleasure and have not for decades.
remembered significantly more facts from the televised broadcast than those who watched it
with the distraction of the crawling text and with additional stock market and weather information on the screen.
Are all the modern devices and digital conveniences we have at our disposal —
from the web and social media to smartphones and tablets —
making us more distracted and less able to concentrate?
And is this harming our ability to think and be creative, and therefore by extension harming society as a whole?
Sociologist Dr. Sherry Turkle:
“We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
We expect more from technology and less from each other.”
Turkle has written about how the internet doesn’t help form real relationships, but fosters a kind of fake intimacy.
Nicholas Carr argues in his book The Shallows that the internet and social media are making us less intelligent — and less interesting — and are actually changing our brains in negative ways.
It goes without saying that digital media have also altered our fundamental notions of and respect for privacy.
Young people now routinely post and share private, personal information and opinions on social media platforms
without fully considering the potential consequences.
(Photo: Handout via AP)
BANGOR, Maine (AP)
A man indicted for the murder of a teenage girl used a fake Facebook account to lure her from her home so that he could stage her kidnapping and rescue and appear to be a hero, according to a state police affidavit.
What do you think?
Is critical thinking on the decline?
Are our digital media hurting our ability to think and to interact with each other in person?
Is there anything we can do about it if so?