Technology Makes You Dumber - Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why

While technology has many benefits, we must use it wisely and not let it override our natural abilities.
Jerzy Rajkow, Gosia Rajkow 2 min read
Technology Makes You Dumber - Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why
Photo by Tengyart / Unsplash

Technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier and more efficient. From smartphones to laptops, we have access to a vast array of tools and applications that can help us organize our lives, manage our time, and stay on top of our tasks. However, as with any tool, there are potential downsides to technology that we should be aware of.‌‌

One argument against technology is presented by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in a tweet: ‌‌

Anything you do with technology brings progressive and irreversible atrophies to your natural abilities.

‌‌While this may seem like an extreme statement, there is some truth to it.‌‌

Tech mindfulness

Overreliance on technology can lead to a loss of our natural abilities. For example, we rely on GPS to navigate instead of using our natural sense of direction. We use spell check instead of learning how to spell correctly. We rely on search engines to find information instead of using our own knowledge and intuition. This is not to say that technology is inherently bad, but rather that we need to be mindful of how we use it.

One way to use technology wisely is to be aware of how it is designed. Many technologies are designed to keep our attention, so being mindful of this can help us avoid being exploited by these tools. It also means being selective about the apps and tools we use and choosing those that align with our values and goals.‌‌


‌‌Another important aspect of using technology wisely is to set boundaries around our use of technology. Being mindful of how much time we spend on our devices can help us avoid addiction and distraction. It also means being intentional about how we use technology and not letting it control us.‌‌

Social media is one area where technology has had a significant impact on our lives. While it can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can also be a source of anxiety and stress if we're constantly comparing ourselves to others or seeking validation through likes and comments. By being mindful of how technology affects our relationships, we can use it in a way that enhances our connections with others rather than detracting from them.‌‌

Business model

‌‌The business model behind technology is also an important consideration. Many social media platforms, for example, are designed to keep us clicking on ads or scrolling endlessly through feeds. By being aware of these business models, we can avoid being exploited by these tools and choose technologies that align with our values and goals.‌‌

Productivity applications and project management tools are examples of technology that can be incredibly helpful when used properly. However, they can also be a source of distraction and overwhelm if we're not careful. Being intentional about how we use these tools and choosing those that align with our values can help us avoid these potential downsides.‌‌


‌‌Ultimately, the key to using technology wisely is to be mindful of how it affects us as individuals and as a society. We need to be aware of its potential pitfalls and work to mitigate them while also taking advantage of its many benefits. By doing so, we can ensure that technology continues to enhance our lives without diminishing our natural abilities or our connections with others.

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