With today’s ability to access all the information that we could ever use, we have run into the predicament of not needing to know anything. At the click of a button, we can have any information that we need, so this has led some people to believe that the internet is making us stupid. It’s not a stretch to say that the ability to retain information is related to how intelligent people believe that we are. However, that doesn’t really show how intelligent we actually are. This brings up the question of “what is intelligence?”. Is intelligence just remembering things that we’ve learned, because if that is the case then the internet might be making us dumb?
For the most part, I disagree that the internet is making us dumb. I think that we definitely do not have to memorize the same things that we used too, but I don’t think that memorization of facts isn’t the only thing that influences intelligence. In addition to that, we have so much information that we could learn that if someone was interested in a subject they’d be able to learn more about that subject. This subject could be a very small thing that doesn’t really matter and won’t have any effect on their life, but they still know a lot about it. Does that not make them smart, if only in a small way?
I support Clay Shirky in banning laptops from his classroom. There are a lot of distractions on the internet and while somethings are constructive there are a lot of things that can just be considered useless. In addition to that people might not be paying attention because they think that they could always google it later.
Whether or not the internet is making us stupid or not, it’s staying. There’s really no point in arguing that the internet is making us stupid because people will only ever have more access to the internet. The future is going to be filled with this kind of information technology, more powerful and bigger. Perhaps people in the future will think, “We used to be smarter when we had the internet, we didn’t rely on computers embedded in our brain to know things. We’d type out entire sentences in search engines, and search through the first page of Google.” In my eyes, this is just a “back in my day” argument with a little more substance than just blind nostalgia.