Or one touch screen tap away that is… with today’s technology information is right at our fingertips (literally).
Imagine you are sitting at home on a Thursday night with your family watching a new release from Blockbuster that you all have been dying to see. An actor walks on the screen and you all pause to question who he is. Your father swears that he has seen him before and you agree; it quickly becomes a race for who can come up with his name first. Within an instant you come up with the name, “TOM HARDY” (which you yell to emphasize that you in fact beat your father in the competitive race). And just like that you rein champion of having gathered that piece of information the fastest. Sure, finding out an actor’s name seems to be trivial when talking about the depths of one’s knowledge; however the example presented demonstrates just how simply technology can help us become smarter.
The debate on whether technology makes us dumber or smarter is one that is heavily debated and will be heavily debated for years to come. It is a controversial topic that holds strong supporting arguments on either side. When it all comes down to it however, technology has become such a huge part of our lives, that it would benefit us to take advantage of it. There is no turning back with how far we have technologically advanced; we are smarter than we were (and we are just getting started…).
Having the ability to find the information we are searching for is seconds away… turn device on, select internet application of choice, and search. Results appear with different ranges of depth and perspective. How could we ignore the ability increase our knowledge when it really is this simple? By simply typing in a few key phrases into Google, a multitude of responses appear giving us that quick fix of knowledge that our brain had been craving. Those who don’t think technology makes us smarter just do not consider that it allows us to make the distinction of what exactly we want to become smarter in. Given the ability to choose exactly how we want to increase our mental capacity, we specialize and become smarter.
Carl Zimmer fights against the nonbelievers in his article, He battles the ideas that English linguist, David Crystal, has on texting and spelling. Zimmer says that “texting actually improves your literacy, as it gives you more practice in reading and writing.” This deems truth as long as the writer isn’t a sixth-grade-girl using “G8 c@nt w8 2 cya l8r” as a message sent through her cell.
As far as autocorrect is concerned, it helps you rather than hurts you. Sure, it makes the correction for you, but it also draws attention to the fact that you have made a mistake and shows you what you did wrong. For it is very beneficial to learn the distinction between “dessert” and the climate of the Sahara when asking your mother what she is serving after dinner.
Two philosophers, Andy Clark and David Chalmers asked the question “Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?” There answer rests in their essay, in which they persuade us to understand the modern mind is not just the neurons in our brains, but the system of our brain plus our environment.
What needs to be considered is how we define the word “smart”. The word is closely linked to intelligent, an adjective defined as “revealing good judgment or sound thought” and “indicating a satisfactory degree of mental capacity”. Adding the ability to find information faster, more reliably, and with multiple resources allows us to increase our intelligence thus improving life for the future.
TECHNOLOGY IS MAKING US SMARTER; now turn on your laptops, charge your cellphones, and get studying!