Forgetting What Makes Us Human

April rain 2014Recently my son was doing some reading for a college course which reported that people tend to have sharper memories for movies and television of twenty years ago simply because those memories weren’t overwhelmed by massive new data.

Nowadays we are exposed to so much that our brains simply can’t remember it all.  We have little time to ponder and evaluate much less remember the multitude of images and information we see each day.

So, why am I adding more information to your overwhelmed brains?  Well, it got me thinking. Moral choices are based on reflection, and I can’t help but wonder how much time we have for that these days.  When people, myself included, complain that we are living in an amoral society which seems to accept the illogical right along with the logical depending on how it is presented, do I consider the fact that we may not be as capable in our present setting to make moral choices?  There are studies showing that children’s brains are developing differently because of all the technology they are being exposed to at an early age. That might be good news.  That might be very bad news.  We might want to know the truth of the matter.

This information should give us pause.  If only we could pull away from the screen a moment and actually think about the situation. Animals can act, but they can’t reflect and ponder like we can. They don’t have immortal souls destined for eternity. Are we becoming less human—less humane—because we are losing touch with our ability to evaluate and make moral decisions about what is actually happening around us? Considering that we have more power than ever before and that the future of the human race depends largely on what the generation before bequeaths to it—we might want to pause a moment. Pause and reflect.  Are we forgetting what makes us human?