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« HELP!!! She threw away the house!The best ad campaign, EVER![UPDATED] »

Is technology making us dumber?

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Monday, July 28, 2008 7:35:24 AM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (7689) times

    • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.5/5 stars (156 votes cast)

    Since the 60's, the latest craze of gadgets that makes people's life easier has been sweeping the world. From pocket calculators to PCs to GPS navigation systems. A million and one gadgets to make things easier. But are we growing too dependent on this technology to a tipping point where we actually end up getting dumber due to the lack of mental challenge and exercise?

    You have a question, you Google it. You have a math problem, you use a calculator. You're lost, you enlist the help of your GPS, and so on and so forth, gadgets seemingly making our life easier (or saving the at times) but also making it easier for us to grow dependant to a point where our minds shut off, slow down and depend only on our tools instead of our own intellectual power.

    Many have already lost their sense of direction. GPS receivers are everywhere. In your car, on your cellphone or even in your shirt pocket. It's true you're never lost, but it's also true that there's a big chance, you're never learning that road since you were too busy listening to the little gadget giving you directions instead of relying on human senses to help you memorize the road.

    The same can be said about calculators. The art of learning the multiplication tables is a lost one. It's rare that you would find anyone these days who can multiply 12x8 in their head. While 90% of elementary school graduates back in the 70's couple probably give you the answer in less time than it takes you to press these keys on your calculator. (if you're struggling with that, the answer is 96)

    The same goes for people researching items online. Some researchers are warning that we're getting so reliant on online tools for knowledge that "general knowledge" is disappearing, and faster than ever. People are getting dumber and the lot of things that people learn, no longer register on the long term brain cells. Everything we learn is disposable. Even what we learn at schools, evaporates shortly after the finals.

    The issue is at it's max in the US, where kids have access to so many tools to ease up their life and make them more dependant. While countries with syllabus that relies more on memorization and deduction are having greater success with kids retaining knowledge up to their university years and beyond.

    I know, many are actually against memorization systems, but the truth remains, kids who are pressured more to achieve do really better than kids who have it all spoon fed into their brains. No matter how creative the means is. That's why the minute you step in any higher education institution in the US you will notice the top students are: Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and south Americans. The result of relying on education systems that are tough on the students, requiring not only memorization, but also deduction and cognitive excellence.

    In recent research (I can't remember where I saw it, but you can see the result in the latest Nintendo games directed to the senior citizens), anyway, the research concluded that senior citizens who kept challenging their minds solving arithmetic equations, and doing math calculations in their head were in better overall mental health.

    I guess, it wouldn't hurt to try and resolve a puzzle sometimes, or do an arithmetic challenge from time to time. Just to make sure your gadgets are simply not smarter than you.

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    • #1
    • KJ
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 7/28/2008 8:46:34 AM
    hehehehe

    I still refuse to use a GPS. How hard is it to memorize roads and read signs?! LOL!

    I crack up when I am in my friend's car and this robotic voice orders him to turn right after 200 meters.

    I suck at math so it's pointless to defend myself here.

    Probably the best thing about being in Syria is that I strip off all these things and I still manage to make do without any withdrawal symptoms. The last time I was there I stayed without a cell phone for 5 of the 8 days.
    معك مليون بالمية

    تزكر قانون الاستعمال و الاهمال اللي درسناه
    و كيف الانسان مع تطور الاجيال و العصور بطّل يستعمل اعضاء معينة فصارت تختفي و غير مهمة
    متل الزائدة الدودية
    اللي هية هلا شغالة عند الارانب لانهم بياكلو بس خضروات
    الانسان صارت الزائدة مفيدة اله بس لما تلتهب و يعمل عملية و يشيلوها و ياخد اجازة من الشغل

    برضة دماغ الانسان و ذاكرته اذا اهملوا الانسان يصاب بالزهيمرز

    في عمر معين او بالاحرى ان حفظ الشعر مثلا او ارقام هواتف بتساعد الذاكرة تبقى يقظة

    انا مثلا اعتمد اعتماد كلي على الموبايل في ارقام الهواتف
    و اكم مرة وقعت بمواقف سخيفة لانه الموبايل خلص الشحن و لو بدي احكي مع اي حدا ما بقدر

    اذا اجابة على سؤالك
    نعم التكنولوجيا جعلتنا اغبى

    شوف كان ممكن اجاوب بنعم او لا بس لازم اتفلسف
    I agree with you to some extent. Yes, people should be brought up and taught to use their heads right in school. Maybe school curriculum have to compensate for the ease of information retrieval and calculation by demanding more than before.

    However, we have been changing because we relied on new tools for a long long time. People became less good at chasing down prey and killing it with their own hands as they invented hunting tools. But, that allowed them hunt more and eat more. Similarly, we are not as good in walking long distances, or riding horses because we invented cars.

    I agree with you, it is almost a double-edged sword: new technology allows us to learn more about the outside world easier than ever before, but at the same time the convenience that we live in also means that we are not required to learn anything about the outside world :-)

    This issue sounds like the premise for that horrible movie "Idiocracy" :-)
    That's one way of looking at it. I think it doesn't quite make us dumber, but it allows us to focus our time and effort on more substantial things that cannot be done by a machine, or be looked up in a site.

    As one very successful business man was telling me recently, he had a meeting with a young customer and the customer (also a successful self-made business man) couldn't do simple math without a calculator.

    Of course he always has a calculator, and his strategy was working without having to do the math himself risk making a mistake, and waste time.
    I don't think it will make us dumber also, it just eases life and certain actions.  People will always do "mashups" and come up with new technologies to make life easier.  Now we can do more work than ever before.  

    We do more, in less time.
    I don't know that it makes people dumber, but it saps their will to achieve things WITHOUT the use of the tools. If you grow up doing something a certain way without aid, then you are stronger and more capable than people who grew up doing the same thing WITH aid. Unfortunately, that difference only shows up when suddenly the aids are removed. The same goes for society. Lazy, useless people exist and continue to procreate only when society supports their continued existence. When that support is removed, or no resources remain for their continued support, they suffer and die off more quickly.
    • #7
    • Anonymous
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/9/2008 7:28:08 PM
    it sure made some dumber
    maybe you are right
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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