Thursday, February 18, 2016

Like Totally, Technology is Making Us More Dumb

This has been a question I have been asking my friends and myself for the past couple of months: is technology really making us dumber as human beings? Despite the fact that technology has been advancing in the past decades with the emergence of smart phones, robots, navigation systems, Google, and even Netflix, the dependence on technology by us, humans, has both a positive and negative effect on us.
In the article, Is Technology Making Us Stupid (and Smarter), by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, it is emphasized how people have grown accustomed to a phenomenon that is not only simplifying the world we live in today, but also is increasing and expanding our knowledge on a daily basis as well. Studies done by psychologists to note the impact and influence technology has on a person’s intellect was observed and analyzed in Dr. Premuzic’s article. As stated in the article, there are two parts to the intellect of a human being: fluid intelligence – one’s proficiency in processing information that has been collected – and crystallized intelligence - one’s own intelligence. It has been observed that peoples’ fluid intelligence have been positively affected by the use of technology over time given that “the average child from 1950 would be handicapped by today’s standard IQ tests.” This goes to show that the creation and growth of the Internet has in fact not only allowed us humans to learn more, but to also easily and quickly comprehend and grasp certain notions that would otherwise be deemed complex and intricate to follow and fully understand. When it comes to crystallized intelligence, one is not apt and keen to storing information and knowledge the way we used to 50 years ago. As the article states, “the only knowledge we need to have is the knowledge of where to find stuff.” From finding the name of a song to finding solutions to various test banks, one just simply has to browse through Google by entering specific key words and phrases.
Although the article asserted that technology is in fact not making us stupid as a result of previous researches that have been done, I do personally believe that it has made us much more lazy. When sending a simple text message or writing a prompt for a class, I find myself – unconsciously – typing in words on Google to make sure that either the spelling is correct, the definition is what I thought it to be, and or to find a synonym in order to make myself look and sound ‘smarter’ – crazy I know. Indeed, the world would not be what it is today if it were not for modern-day technology and the Internet. The Internet allows us to access information and connect with people from all over. Once can say that by expanding our resources to progress as a race, we are in-fact also confining our own selves intellectually. We cannot and should not succumb to our own creations.



https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201305/is-technology-making-us-stupid-and-smarter

Soffie Jobarteh

18 comments:

  1. Your post immediately caught my attention because it's what we've always been told growing up: "stop watching so much television, it's making you stupid!". Although I believe there are strong arguments for and against this, I believe there is no direct correlation. I agree that it has definitely made us lazier though. Although, is lazy the right word? Or is the right word convenient and time saving?

    Dasha Agoulnik

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    1. I most definitely agree that technology has made us much more lazier. To this day, I can count on one hand how many phone numbers I have engrained in my head. Because of address books, smartphones, and speed dialing, we no longer need to memorize other people's phone numbers. It is sad once you sit down and think about it, however, it is now considered second nature to us.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  2. I really enjoyed reading you're post. This topic really makes me think a lot about today's culture of new technology. Is it in fact making us dumber all in all? I guess anyone could argue both ways but I do truly believe that it is. I actually wasn't even sure "dumber" was a word when I read you're first sentence in your post so I decided to open a tab, type google, type dumber, and in a matter of seconds I knew that yes dumber is a comparative adjective and in fact a word. While having this amazing technology that wasn't around decades ago giving me information in a matter of seconds or minutes, does that make us smarter as human beings? I'm not quite sure. I like what you mentioned in your last paragraph about how it makes us "seem smarter." While technology can make us seem smarter does it enhance our actual knowledge at all?

    Stephanie Aboody

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    1. Thank you! I do not believe that technology is making us dumber, instead it is making us more comfortable, and as a result of that we no longer utilize certain cognitive skills that we were taught to use and then altered to better suite us individually.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  3. I agree with what the article says to a certain extent. One thing that I see myself doing a lot is when I have a question about something in a homework problem I'll look up how to solve it but it doesn't really stick and I'll forget it soon after because I know I can always just go back and look it up again if I need to. So I don't think technology is making us dumb as much as it's changing the way we go about learning new things.

    Cole DiStasio (Group 1)

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    1. I completely agree with your statement. I am exactly the same way, and I have realized that the way I do study has changed significantly from high school days to my college days, and I am now realizing that this is a major a red flag since it will not work in the real world.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  4. I agree with you about technology making us more lazy. But if you look at the affect laptops have had on student life in terms of academics, its clear that laptops allow for a virtually infinite database of information. At the click of a button, you are able to find things it would've taken a student 30 years ago hours to find in the libraries. Based on the existence of the laptop alone, I'd say we have much more access to information and are actually getting smarter.

    -Forootan Alizadehasil

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    1. I agree with you as well. Technology not only shows how smart and intuitive us humans have become, but it also allows us to expand that knowledge as well.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  6. This is a very hot topic, even more of a hot topic when you bring future generations education into the mix. Not only does technology make us lazy but it makes our learning habits lazy thus = us becoming less smart. It is so easy to ask siri a quick question - we barely have to lift a finger or type anything out, when back in the day if you wanted an answer you had to look up what type of encyclopedia you wanted and then what volume, then look up what page and then finally read a whole passage of information on the topic you had one question about. Not only did you get the answer you were looking for, but many times you learn a few other interesting tid-bits too and you're more likely to remember that information because you did all that work to find it and then did a good chunk of reading on it, not just reading the one sentence that siri provided you with! Also, I would put money on a study that proved technology is hindering our spelling capabilities. Spell check is a life saver but imagine what life was like before spell check... scary!! I would have to agree with you that at least in some areas of our intelligence technology is definitely affecting us and not for the better, but there is a positive side with how much easier and more accessible information has become but I think certain generations (like the ones who never had to use an encyclopedia) have been taking it for granted and it will hinder them in the long run when they get to the real world and realize there are some questions siri wont be able to answer!
    -Kelsey Morrison

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    1. I also agree with your statement 100%. There's most definitely a trade-off. I believe that the younger generation has it "easy"to say because everything can be seen and viewed in a matter of seconds. But because of the easy access, the way in which we learn is also changing, and this can be perceived in both a positive and negative way. Although technology does make us lazier, we have to also keep in mind that as the world around is changing, we as humans, find means to adapt to these changes, and the way in which we learn is one of them. The use of iPads in the classroom can be used as an example. There are many apps created to help students engage and learn when it comes to a wide range of subjects.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  7. This is a very hot topic, even more of a hot topic when you bring future generations education into the mix. Not only does technology make us lazy but it makes our learning habits lazy thus = us becoming less smart. It is so easy to ask siri a quick question - we barely have to lift a finger or type anything out, when back in the day if you wanted an answer you had to look up what type of encyclopedia you wanted and then what volume, then look up what page and then finally read a whole passage of information on the topic you had one question about. Not only did you get the answer you were looking for, but many times you learn a few other interesting tid-bits too and you're more likely to remember that information because you did all that work to find it and then did a good chunk of reading on it, not just reading the one sentence that siri provided you with! Also, I would put money on a study that proved technology is hindering our spelling capabilities. Spell check is a life saver but imagine what life was like before spell check... scary!! I would have to agree with you that at least in some areas of our intelligence technology is definitely affecting us and not for the better, but there is a positive side with how much easier and more accessible information has become but I think certain generations (like the ones who never had to use an encyclopedia) have been taking it for granted and it will hinder them in the long run when they get to the real world and realize there are some questions siri wont be able to answer!
    -Kelsey Morrison

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  8. This topic relates to a book from a couple years back called Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman that draws on our dependence on technology for entertainment. I admit to double-checking myself too for words that I should know how to spell or know the meaning, but I definitely appreciate not having to go to the library and riffle through old books to find what we can now find in 2 seconds.

    Allen Currier

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    1. I'm not the only one! Technology does come with its advantages and disadvantages. And often times than not, there are more positives than negatives.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  9. This is a really interesting topic, this reminds me of my German step father. He's a huge promoter when it comes to getting educated on almost anything. He would always mention "If you're going to spend time watching television, you should watch something that is going to educated you and help you grow as an individual" Technology is making everyone lazy, technology purpose is to make everyone's life easier simpler. However, where do you draw the line? As we progress, we become more and more depend on technology, to the point that we can't live with out them.

    David Mota

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    1. I agree. When I'm out with friends and hear a part of a song that gravitates to me, I immediately put in a phrase from the song on Google, and bam, I know the name of the song and the artist. It is scary, yet fascinating at the same time.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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  10. Reading this post reminds me of my dad telling me to turn off the t.v. when I was younger because it was "melting my brain". It is interesting to see how people of different generations have different opinions of the effect of technology on our brains. I know my father and grandfather both think that technology is making us dumber, but I would disagree based on the fact that I have been around it almost my whole life and could not imagine everyday life or school without it.

    Ashley Geary

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    1. Same here. My mom barely knows how to work her phone, yet she has an iPhone. Besides knowing the basics - such as texting, sending e-mails, and going on Facebook (which we just recently taught her how to work it) - she cannot do anything else. However, my sister and I are like considered whizs.

      -Soffie Jobarteh

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