Is technology making us dumber?

Michelle Pletcher
Mar 23, 2010

 

In today's society, almost every one has a cell phone, or a computer. We have advanced so far with technology since the 1950's when the dream of the Internet started. Looking back through time, it really is amazing to see how far we've come. Have you heard of the new Google Wave? It's a personal communication and collaboration tool, and was announced at the Google I/O conference back in May as the next generation of Internet communications. Now, I won't pretend to understand all the technological explanations on how it works, but in short, Google Wave will allow us to send messages in real time. So, instead of the instant messaging we're used to (where you type your response, hit send, and see it appear in your conversation box), it's live. As in, you see the message, letter by letter as it's being typed, appear. It's amazing! It's due to come out later this year. If you want more info, you can look at the preview by clicking here.   My point is, however, every day it seems, we as a human race are advancing. We're getting smarter, and more capable of developing inventions that almost defy reality. Think about if you were to have a conversation with some one who lived, say, one hundred years ago. If you were to tell them what type of world we live in today, they would probably accuse you of witchcraft, or devil worshiping. We as a race of beings, are capable of almost anything. We've gone to the moon for crying out loud. That was 40 years ago! Humans are getting smarter.   Or are we?   Like I said before, we are developing so many technological advances every day. But is it really helping mankind? Or is it simply dumbing us down and making us lazy? People don't have to do half the work they used to. Everything is automated nowadays, and you can find anything on the Internet. Text messaging allows us to communicate almost instantly. But all these things that make life easier, are really costing us more than what we know. I can honestly say, I don't think I could have survived before this age of technology. I can't remember NOT having a computer in my home. Most people my age would not know how to survive without half the things we take for granted every day. To my older readers, do you remember what it was like doing a report in high school? Breaking out the old encyclopedias, checking out countless books from the library, and then taking days to read through all of it? Now people don't have to go through half the hassle. Quickly Google the subject (yes, I love Google. I use it frequently), and in seconds, you have countless websites that will give you all the information you need.   Technology is making people lazy.   In the 1800s, they used to make young children in elementary school recite the U.S. presidents. Children younger than 13 could name all the presidents, states and capitals. There are few grown adults that can do that now. Think, if you had 10 minutes, and no outside help, could you name all 50 states? Seriously, try it. I tried, and I missed 13. I've always thought I was fairly intelligent. But really, why bother learning it, if I could just look it up online in seconds? Not only are we not learning what was once required, but technology is making people worse spellers. We have tools like spell check, so we never really learn. It's like how teachers always tell us in school, if you cheat, you're only hurting yourself. Well, spell check is kind of cheating.   With text messaging, people shorten words all the time. Like, I can take the sentence, "Oh my God, really, that is totally cool. I have to go, I'll talk to you later though," and write it in half the letters by just typing: "Omg rly thts kool. g2g ttyl tho." Yes, it's usually only used in IMs or texts, but slowly people are forgetting the correct spelling of words. Teachers in today's high schools remind students when they assign reports that this type of writing is unacceptable. Why do they do this? All too often, a lot of people will forget a 'w' on the end of 'know' or they'll put 'cuz' instead of 'because.' I'm not innocent in the matter. I catch myself doing it all the time, just because, yes, I text and IM a lot, and that's how I'm used to writing words. But it's a horrible habit that today's generation needs to get out of. We're slowly killing the English language. Slowly, even though we're discovering new things, and inventing amazing creations, the human race as a whole is getting less intelligent. I know above I stated that we're getting smarter, but are we really? Or is technology making us lazy?   I love the Internet, cell phones, Mp3 players, gaming systems, and everything that makes life more enjoyable, and less of a hassle. I'm proud to live in the 2000s, where we're on the verge of curing cancer, and living in space, and I'll never deny that. I love technology. But I don't love what it's made us become. Maybe, though, we should start thinking more about it. We don't have to let technology reduce us to brainless twits. The choice is ours.  

Comments

crazymom

You bring up a good point in this commentary. I think we are reaching the point that some of the people skills that are key to a successful career are not being developed. Communication is a key to success whether it is email, text messaging or actually speaking to someone on a phone or in person. Technology has the key to make us efficient, but does it help us be successful? Not if we can't speak effectively to a customer on the phone or face to face.

here in ohio
Omg rly thts kool. g2g ttyl tho when you typed that I had to keep looking up to see what it meant I agree with this 100% I dont ever text or Im so I was really lost here Bob
Bluto

                                  You 've hit the nail on the head . Todays technology has hindered us just as much as it has made our lives easier , and I am as guilty as anyone else . There was a time I swore I would never get a computer . I was / am still a strong believer in cracking a book at least once in a while to learn things traditionally . Alas , I eventually caved and bought a computer and ( gritting my teeth ) it was love at first sight !! I have never been to college , but I have always enjoyed learning new things especially if it was hands on and that is how the computer hooked me . I screwed up a lot , getting to know my computer , but got it eventually - sort of ( still learning things as I go ) . We have lost some old skills that would be nice to get back if possible , but we have also gained  or more accurately adapted to this brave new world of technology . It is useful , fun , and I have to admit , pretty easy to lose yourself in . My only suggestion is to step back from all these gadgets now and then just to see if we can make it a day , a few hours  , a couple minutes unplugged .

columbus avenue

"fer sure"