Sunday, February 6, 2011

Internet Making Us Smarter or Dumber?

Well folks after reading the two articles presented to us on the Faculty Ning I can say that I do not feel any dumber or smarter for using the Internet but I can agree with points put forth in both articles. This is an interesting debate and I am sure that after questioning a few people about their thoughts on the issue the results would most likely be split.

On the dumber side of the argument I like how lots of the points in the argument are backed up with results from research. I can understand that with the use of the internet through computers, smartphones, ipods, etc. it does create a lot of distraction in our lives and I agree that with the amount of distraction people may tend to lose concentration in school. Today the world goes by so fast that people are constantly multi tasking as they go to work send emails, text their spouse, schedule appointments, jot down grocery lists, plan the weekend activities. It does not surprise me that because of all this multi tasking people have become less creative and inventive as they are just trying to get by. Although I can understand what the article is presenting that does not mean that I like it. I am not a huge fan of an article that basically tells me that I am becoming dumber along with the rest of society. Lets face it that is not something that people want to hear.

The internet can't be all bad though right? People are constantly making contributions to society through the internet such as Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The people who create these social media devices are brilliant minded. There are so many things on the internet that people use that can expose them to new information or facts. It is our responsiblity to take the time to concentrate on the information and connect it to prior knowledge so that it eventually has meaning and is stored in our long term memory. People tend to scan so many different sites and facts at once that it just goes in and out of our working memory. The internet most definitely has the ability to make use smarter we just have to use it correctly.

This is a debate that could go on forever as we are smack dab in the middle of the digital age and is something we will be a part of for likey the rest of our lives.

Thats all folks!
Oh and yellow, congrats Pack!


  1. I know what you mean about there being some good points on the 'dumber' side. But at the same time I'm not convinced by them - isn't it possible that all this multitasking just means that technology is giving people the ability to use more of their brains. I means its possible that we are loosing the ability to think 'deeply' its also possible that our 'rewiring' is simply making us more efficient thinkers. This topic will be with us for a while I'm sure but I just don't really see that the 'dumber' side has really proven anything other than our brains are changing...change can be a good thing just as easily as a bad thing!

  2. I think the "Dumber" article overstates the negative effects of the Internet on us. Books are still being read, there are plenty of long form articles online, and literacy has to have been greatly improved with all the reading and writing the Internet calls for. I remember at some point in this class the idea coming up that Twitter was making us more concise writers because it limits us to 140 characters. There may be a gutter to the Internet, but that can be said of any part of society. There is just too much good stuff online for me to believe it is making us in anyway 'dumber'.