Is the Convenience of Technology Making Us Dumb?

We no longer have to worry about history repeating itself, because with the invention of the Internet anything and everything can be looked up in a matter of seconds. There hasn’t been enough time to properly evaluate how the Internet is affecting our brains. We no longer have to retain as much information; if we forget a little known fact or want to find a recipe we have that power at our fingertips. We don’t even need to spell that well because Microsoft Word will correct us if we are mistaken. We don’t have to rely on our memories anymore. Does this mean with the advancement of technology we forget more too? With everything we look up it all feels so temporary, it’s captured in our short-term memory for what we need it for and then…that’s it? Right?

Before computers became the main tool for student’s reports and research papers there were books. Students had to sift through countless books to find the information they needed. By using books students learned more, because they were forced to read and skim information that didn’t always pertain to what they were looking for. Now, anyone can “Google” a word, phrase or topic and find exactly the answer they need without those pesky additional facts. The generation that didn’t use computers is before my time, because I grew up with them. As I got older teachers were allowing us to use less and less books as sources. When I attended college only one or two books were required for a research paper. My father was astounded at this. He went through college and obtained a doctorate in another country. He moved to the U.S.A in hopes that I would have a better education and opportunities. But sadly, I still feel like he is much more knowledgeable than me or will ever be. He will sometimes ask random questions about history and science and sometimes I won’t know what he is talking about. It’s not that I didn’t pay attention in school because I graduated with great grades; it’s how I learned that differs from his education that hinders me.

I almost wish I lived in an age with no computers or technology because I would actually know more than I know now. I would have to rely on an old fashioned map to find places rather than using a GPS. I would have to remember recipes, people’s numbers, make friends outside of facebook, spend more time talking rather then texting or emailing, teach myself how to do things rather than using youtube, and remember what Schrödinger’s cat theory is. I feel dumb when I’m asked questions about facts I should know about and I can’t remember. And later that day, I’ll look it up and feel relieved knowing I learned the answer. But I didn’t learn it; someone else did and was kind enough to put the answer on the Internet that took me a few seconds to read.

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