There’s no doubt that technology can make our lives easier, but it can also make us lazy too. In fact, many of us could be losing vital skills where we rely so heavily on our gadgets. Technology should improve and supplement our lives, but it shouldn’t do all of our thinking for us. Here are a few skills that you should ensure you’re not losing due to your smartphones and computers.
Spelling, Grammar and Vocabulary
Chances are you do most of your writing on the computer these days, which has so many benefits. It can pick up spelling errors, suggest vocabulary enhancements and correct any grammar errors you have made. There’s nothing wrong with this of course- in fact, it’s fantastic. However, has this lead to you becoming a little lazy? Instead of attempting to spell a word correctly, do you leave it to spellchecker? Instead of racking your brains for the right words, do you leave it all to the thesaurus? Be deliberate about the vocabulary words you use. Using online checkers is great to improve the pieces that you write, but don’t become lazy or reliant on them. Know that if you were to write something just by yourself that it would be excellent quality. You can brush up on these skills by reading more, and also just practising writing. Take up a hobby where you’re typing a lot such as blogging, and enjoy explaining things in different ways. When you do switch out a word using a thesaurus, make a mental note and teach yourself those words for next time.
Being able to work out sums on a calculator makes life incredibly easy- from calculating the tip you need to leave at a restaurant or working out your monthly budget. The fact that we all have calculators on our phones these days means it’s easy to whip it out and work out the amount. However, what it can mean is over time we lose out mental arithmetic ability. Sure, it might not make sense to work out large sums in your head but what about smaller ones? Do you find yourself in a moment of dread or panic when someone asks you to work out a simple amount? The thing with numbers, times tables and equations is that the more you practice them, the quicker and easier you will find them. Instead of resorting to the calculator every time, work out more doable equations yourself to keep you sharp. Every now and again, use long division or multiplication to work something out if you don’t need the answer immediately. You can always check it on a calculator afterwards, but it’s reassuring to know you can still do them and are able to work out sums when needed. There are tons of brain training apps which have numbers games and things, use these every now and again to remind yourself of how to do them.
Map Reading and Orienteering
Getting lost is basically now a thing of the past. As long as you’ve got a smartphone, it’s easy to determine your exact location on a map while it tracks you in real time. If you need to go on a car journey, you can pop on the sat nav or use your phone for directions and there’s no hassle whatsoever getting from A to B. However, if for whatever reason you were on a journey and your sat nav died (or you were lost with nothing but a map for help) could you read it? It’s becoming a lost art, which is worrying because it’s a skill that could get you out of a very sticky situation if it came to it. Who knows, it could even save your life. There are various fun map reading and orienteering adventure days you can go on if you want to improve this.
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