The Age of Horizontal Thinking

March 8, 2017


The way our minds are operating today are fundamentally different than 10 years ago.

June 29, 2007: the first iPhone was released. Since then society has changed drastically, from workplace and industrial efficiencies, to lifestyle logistics, to biomedical advances, to social interactions, to dating, and to advertisement targeting. The iPhone is up there with the printing press, internet, and penicillin to be considered the most important invention of the Christ Era (CE).

The iPhone, using the internet, makes available almost all of the information of the world that one would ever need. A simple Google search provides the information and answers to almost any question the average person could conceive.

It is my opinion that the biggest impact of the iPhone is not going to be the impact of the development of the latest life-efficiency app, it will be its affect on our our macro-mental processes. More specifically, the iPhone will make us into horizontal thinkers for the first time in history.

This is a change from vertical thinking to horizontal thinking. Previous to the iPhone the information that we learned and retained in our minds was all that we were able to instantaneously draw on in daily life (without reading a book or making a time consuming effort to research). The time-consumption of such research would interrupt the flow of a conversation and thus not be socially useful. However, now we  instantly have access to all of the world’s information in the blink of an eye (read: internet speeds and wifi democracy). We do not need to retain information in our minds in order utilize it in a live circumstance. We can rely on our smartphones to recall that information for us, then we can simply communicate it. We have internalized this ability, and soon, if not already, we will be efficiently (until optimally) spoon fed all the information we could possibly need or want.

This is the change from a vertically stacked mental process, where one only has access to the information in their body, to a horizontal mental process, where our knowledge is measured by the internet’s ability to provide us the correct answer. Now, attached to our body, is an information aid that extends our access to knowledge further than we could have ever imagined 10 years ago. Will check in again in 2017.


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