An overreliance on technology is not a new phenomenon or risk. In 360 B.C. Plato recorded an account of a conversation between two mythological gods, Thamus and Theuth. When Theuth proudly shows off his invention, writing and the use of letters, Thamus replies with a warning:"O most ingenius Theuth, the parent or inventor of an art is not always the best judge of the utility or inutility of his own inventions to the users of them. And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.
"The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."
Thanks to 21st-century technology, we don't need to know how to spell a word, read a map or handwrite a letter. Computers do all of that for us. But at what cost? Certainly, computers get things done more quickly and, presumably, perfectly. But isn't there something to be said for the knowledge and independence we are sacrificing for the sake of convenience?
A portion of the above is excerpted from chapter 8 in #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking by Dr. Gregory Jantz.