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From the Problem of Interruption to Reliance on Technology

By: Jaime Neely - May 8, 2014
From psychologists to doctors and teachers, there are dozens of individuals and professionals who preach the negative impacts of technology and encourage people to "turn off your devices." This collection of speeches spotlights some of the arguments these people make in favor of logging off and shutting down.

The speeches by Maria Konnikova and Taylor Mali focus on the ways our reliance on technology can actually make us less intelligent. Mali discusses the downfall of spell check. He explains how this seemingly very useful tool and function actually makes people careless and less thorough with their own work; people are relying on the tool to fix all their mistakes, and thus unlearning them.

On a related note, Konnikova shows how Google can make people more forgetful. She shares a study on how those who knew they could use Google at a later date, didn't remember as much as those who weren't able to use it. This shows that people are becoming to reliant on the database of Google.

MIT professor Sherry Turkle encourages people to turn off their devices when engaging in important or meaningful forms of communication as items like smartphones and tablets can seriously interrupt and stop the flow of conversation.

Having someone tell you to "turn off your devices" can be bothersome and even patronizing, but these speeches explain why they might just have a point.