Technology is making us stupid – smarter – dumb – clever

I read a post today that said, in a light hearted way, that technology might be making us more stupid. While I know I’m safe – as I can’t get any stupider-er – it made me think – which hurt.

The post replies almost all agreed, often more seriously than the post implied, that we were more stupid these days.

Is it true? I had intended to surf the net for answers – but I lost interest half-way through and found myself tweeting my Angry-Bird high scores instead. Don’t even know how it happened!

As it goes, asking if technology makes us dumb brings 4,530,000 hits – asking if it makes us smart brings 2,570,000 hits. Trying to untangle the opposing views took more than eight seconds and I blacked out. When I woke I was updating my Facebook status to “someone stop the terrible pain in my head!”

Another pointless status update
now I must update my status to tell everyone I updated my status to tell everyone I was updating my status….

I don’t even have Facebook!

Don’t be silly – of course I have Facebook – you can’t NOT have it. I don’t have a head.

I decided to just refer to this article, which has a lot of words in and not many pictures – which means no-one will read it and so can’t argue with me! Trust me, it says what I do 🙂

The bottom line for me is that technology doesn’t make us anything – we do.

If we are getting dumber it is not the fault of technology but indicative of our out-moded education system (in the UK at least.) Do we hear China moaning about increased stupidity? or Finland?

World education ranking

Country Name Reading score Maths score Science score
Source: OECD, PISA 2009 Database-
OECD average 493 496 501
Shanghai-China 556 600 575
Korea-South 539 546 538
Finland 536 541 554
Hong Kong-China 533 555 549
Singapore 526 562 542
Canada 524 527 529
New Zealand 521 519 532
Japan 520 529 539
Australia 515 514 527
Netherlands 508 526 522
Belgium 506 515 507
Norway 503 498 500
Estonia 501 512 528
Switzerland 501 534 517
Poland 500 495 508
Iceland 500 507 496
United States 500 487 502
Liechtenstein 499 536 520
Sweden 497 494 495
Germany 497 513 520
Ireland 496 487 508
France 496 497 498
Chinese Taipei 495 543 520
Denmark 495 503 499
United Kingdom 494 492 514
Hungary 494 490 503
Portugal 489 487 493
Macao-China 487 525 511

Okay, so I don’t want to be as oppressive as China, or as boring as Finland, to dismiss two countries in just one prejudiced adjective each. But they have as much technology as we do – and they aren’t moaning about being stupid.

Are all the scientists at the Large-Hadron Collider struggling to work the coffee machine and being forced to re-sit their Cookery practical? Methinks not, and there appears to be a little technology involved with their work.

We are not more stupid or more intelligent because of technology. Yes we can look anything up, so we don’t need to remember phone numbers and dates – but we remember how to use our phones, our passwords, sites, user-names. We are aware of the news not just at home but across the globe. We have to be able to handle much more information now than we ever have – it’s just in a different form.

Some old skills are lost, but new ones arrive to take their place. Kids don’t need to remember phone numbers – just as we didn’t have to know how to use social networking. We are not more stupid or more intelligent – just different.

In ye olden times there were complaints that there were too many books – and people would suffer ‘information overload’. Sounds familiar?

Also sounds ridiculous?

Now… it’s been nearly four minutes since I last LIKED something…


6 thoughts on “Technology is making us stupid – smarter – dumb – clever

Add yours

      1. Ha, thank you! 😀 I’m flattered. Also, I nominated you for the ‘One Lovely Blog’ award because I adore your rants, your musings and your beautiful poetry! Your blog is so diverse, it ticks all the meanings of lovely.

      2. That is extremely kind. The One Angry Fool, The One Mixed Up Puppy or the One Drivelling Idiot I may have expected – but the One Lovely Blog is a complete surprise!
        How do these things work? Do I have to buy you a tray of buns now?! 🙂

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