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Is Modern Technology Taking Away Our Ability To Learn and Retain Information?

Learning has changed so much over the past fifteen to twenty years, information is available at the end of our finger tips, on a mobile phone or a tablet, or a computer providing we have access to the internet.

We can find the information we require to nearly any question at the press of a few buttons. Here is a test, if you are reading this then you are probably on line, connected to the internet. Have a look now at the capital city of Cabo Verde, go on, now have a look at the capital of Zambia. Got them both? Easy wasn’t, a few clicks and you have the answers right before you.

Like I said at the beginning, learning has changed so much. Twenty years ago, you would probably have had to go to your local library, go to the reference section, then look it up, then comeback and tell me the answer, or find a public telephone and call me on my landline (remember those) to give me the answer. Things are now right at our finger tips, online videos telling us everything from how to change a starter motor on a Ford Focus to how to do a certain Boxing drill and everything in between.

However, watching and learning online can never replace the effort it takes to physically find something out for yourself, or to feel that Boxing drill. Online can be great as a help or a guide, yet it can never replace the feeling of doing it yourself and the feeling of achieving something through your own work and effort, as well at the satisfaction it brings. When you do it yourself, the chances are that you will retain the information for longer, as you have had to spend the time doing it, if your brain and body has worked hard to learn something then the chances are it will make sure that you keep the information longer due to the effort you have put in to learn it.

The longer it takes you to learn something, the longer will retain the information.

This is true in some of the arts we teach at MAC, they are meant to challenge you, to inspire you to be better, to push yourself and learn something new. The thing is, are we forgetting this with the instant nature of our society? Fast food, fast car wash, things like on line shopping means we don’t even need to leave the house to buy the things we need.

At what cost? The danger we have is that if we cannot get something straight away then we are tempted to quit, or to make it easier, find a route where we can have the answer immediately, sorry but it doesn’t work like that, you need to persevere, then practice, then possibly fail, then go again and repeat if necessary, soon enough you will break the cycle and have learnt something new, something that you will remember for a long time. This is not only true in Martial Arts but in all aspects of our lives, we need to be careful that we are not falling into the trap, and also letting our children fall into it as well.

One last thing, without looking, what is the capital of Zambia?