Each century, humanity takes a giant leap in its cultural development based on the discovery and proliferation of a revolutionary new resource. It happened with fire, it happened in the industrial revolution, and now it’s happening with what, for now, we call the technological revolution.
And it is a fact that new technologies are leading to a paradigm shift in our society. Being able to keep contact channels open indefinitely via social media or being one click away from the breaking news in the world means cultural and business shifts which, like it or not, are here. And like any big change, this one it involves a gradual process of adaptation and learning, Especially in the case of younger generations, very exposed to these resources.
Why educate in the use of new technologies?
We must maximize the benefits that these resources offer to our society, while preventing as much as possible the risks associated with them. In this sense, there is an increasingly entrenched awareness of the importance of train the new generations who have known the world with all this technology that is developing in the midst of the technological revolution.
The aim is for them to be able to make good use of these new resources. Maybe they technically move like fish in water when used as users, however it does not mean that they are able to integrate them into their life in a healthy way.
And it is not necessary to have a bad conception of social networks to fall into one of its dangers, sometimes it suffices for a spontaneous and natural use guided by the principle of immediate gratification offered by the Internet connection and the ‘access to all kinds of virtual content and interactions. This is why it is essential to guide and train people in proper use.
The danger of technology addiction
One of the biggest dangers is that these new technologies are potentially addictive. Video games, apps, social media, or simple browsing involve intrinsic mechanisms that can lead us to suffer from addiction by getting an immediate reward (or rather an enhancer).
Let’s take an example. When I perform the behavior of writing a chat message, the resulting reply message works as a reinforcement or reward. Reinforcements are defined as those consequences of a behavior that increase the likelihood of it repeating in the future. In this context, it is easy to understand that the more I write, the more I am challenged … the more likely I will be to rewrite. If you know of an instant messaging app, you begin to understand the magnitude of this risk.
Video games base all their operations on this mechanism. I execute the gaming behavior and eventually the video game itself administers a reinforcement to me, how can that be an achievement, a skill, unlock a new level … every time we activate one of these reinforcements, our playing behavior is perpetuated more and more and, if we pay attention, we will notice how the game at the beginning offers us the prizes for the simpler tasks but, as we progress in the game, we will Will get them more and more time and after completing feats that involve more effort or skill.
In fact, to induce behavior, reinforcements must be constant, while to maintain it, these reinforcements must be administered intermittently. So, coming back to chatting, when we’ve already written to the same person forty times, and he suddenly responds to us … not only will what we write be strengthened, but it will be strengthened that we do it forty times.
Smartphones and the Internet: the realm of immediacy
As with any addiction, it is not enough to know the possible negative long-term consequencesAs behavioral psychology tells us that, in general, an immediate reinforcer has more of an effect on our behavior than a delayed punishment. In other words, we tend to prefer today’s bread despite tomorrow’s hunger.
For that, we must propose concrete guidelines and alternative behaviors, Also correctly reinforced, if we want to avoid this discomfort which already affects about 20% of young people.
However, as we continue this prevention work, it is easy for many of us to be already in the clutches of new technologies, and that is why if we are suffering symptoms such as irritability or anxiety when you don’t have a smartphone or another device, if our academic or professional life is affected or if we detect a lack of self-control regarding the use of new technologies, it may be time to reveal ourselves to our reinforcers and seek the guide from ‘a specialist.
Because of the booster technology, they’re everywhere, and it’s best that we choose them … and not the other way around.