U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 04-10-2015, 07:09 PM
 
1,116 posts, read 1,855,812 times
Reputation: 2083

Advertisements

Serious post here.

As much as I love the digital age of information, the infinite power of the internet, and the amazing advances with technology, I can't help but feel it's making me stupid. It's making everyone stupid. You can learn literally ANYTHING from the comfort of your own home using the internet, yet here I am often trying hard how to remember simple calculations I once had memorized, or how to spell words that no one should have difficulty spelling. On the plus side, we can pull up all this information in a split second if we want, but perhaps that is the problem, we no longer remember, we just reference.

Ok, before I continue I won't say it's making everyone stupid. It would be ignorant to make such a broad statement, but I do feel personally that it's dumbing me down, and I do worry about our future generation seeing some of the trends I've noticed as technology advances. Some of the biggest things I notice?

- Tons of misspelled words, improper grammar.
- Slang talk, meme speak, etc
- Horrific math skills (I see a lot of people anymore that can't do even the simplest of calculations without a calculator, and some don't even know how to use calculators for more "advanced" calculations like percentages... :/
- Not much knowledge or complete disregard of other basic knowledge like Geography, Science, History, etc.
- Terrible communication skills. People too used too tweeting and verbal communication skills are being thrown out the window.

They are just some of the observations I've noticed over the past several years of areas where people seem to be regressing quickly in. For me particularly, I've been most affected in the misspelled words and communication skills. What throws me off is that typos and poor grammar has become more common that proper written English, and the more you see something wrong, your brain starts to wonder what actually is wrong and right... See you're spelled ur or your for the millionth time, your brain can't help but wonder if ur or your is actually right instead of you're, especially since you never see you're anymore. All the slang talk, meme speak just makes it worse. Hell, I see college textbooks and professional communication with blatant typos in it a lot anymore. Point is, I've been seeing things done so wrong the past few years, it's definitely been getting harder for me to remember how words are correctly spelled or how to apply the proper grammar to a sentence.

Communication is another trouble area that is regressing for me personally and I see the same for many others. Fortunately my written communication is still solid since I refuse to tweet and don't really involve myself in social media, but I still do most of my communication these days via email or IM. I hardly have real conversations anymore, and the less you use something, the worse you become at it.

So my question stands. Is the internet and this digital age we live in actually making us dumber instead of smarter? I'm in my late twenties only and I often find myself wishing things were more the way they were when I was a kid. Maybe I'm the only one that feels our growing technology is actually ruining us, but I've just been noticing that it seems many people's skills and smarts (in addition to my own!) are regressing due to technology. I'm skeptical about our society's future as tech continues to boom. It will certainly be different... but good different or bad different is the big question. :P

What do people think?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-11-2015, 01:25 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 16,868,606 times
Reputation: 7623
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
As much as I love the digital age of information, the infinite power of the internet, and the amazing advances with technology, I can't help but feel it's making me stupid. It's making everyone stupid. You can learn literally ANYTHING from the comfort of your own home using the internet, yet here I am often trying hard how to remember simple calculations I once had memorized, or how to spell words that no one should have difficulty spelling. On the plus side, we can pull up all this information in a split second if we want, but perhaps that is the problem, we no longer remember, we just reference.
I have never seen the point in memorizing things... technology and the Internet have made it vastly easier to get an answer to a question or sudden interest in something. I can lay my hands on more research data in one hour on the Internet than I can spending dozens of hours in libraries.

With some of the points you bring up you sure it's not old age or a medical problem as the reason I am often trying hard how to remember simple calculations I once had memorized, or how to spell words that no one should have difficulty spelling.

Quote:
Ok, before I continue I won't say it's making everyone stupid. It would be ignorant to make such a broad statement, but I do feel personally that it's dumbing me down, and I do worry about our future generation seeing some of the trends I've noticed as technology advances. Some of the biggest things I notice?

- Tons of misspelled words, improper grammar.
Funny, my spelling expertise has increased radically with technology and the Internet.

Quote:
- Slang talk, meme speak, etc
Slang talk has been around for at least the past century and meme speak? All I can say is languages change with the times...

Quote:
- Horrific math skills (I see a lot of people anymore that can't do even the simplest of calculations without a calculator, and some don't even know how to use calculators for more "advanced" calculations like percentages... :/
Just why on Gods green Earth do people have to learn how to do calculations other than the basic of skills?

Quote:
- Not much knowledge or complete disregard of other basic knowledge like Geography, Science, History, etc.
Don't blame technology or the Internet, blame the education system. Blame the parents for not discussing history with their children...

Quote:
- Terrible communication skills. People too used too tweeting and verbal communication skills are being thrown out the window.
In case you haven't noticed society has been evolving these past 20 or so years. So communicating via keyboard is different than communicating in person? If anything communicating via keyboard more things are said that would not be said in a face-to-face chat...

Quote:
They are just some of the observations I've noticed over the past several years of areas where people seem to be regressing quickly in. For me particularly, I've been most affected in the misspelled words and communication skills. What throws me off is that typos and poor grammar has become more common that proper written English, and the more you see something wrong, your brain starts to wonder what actually is wrong and right... See you're spelled ur or your for the millionth time, your brain can't help but wonder if ur or your is actually right instead of you're, especially since you never see you're anymore. All the slang talk, meme speak just makes it worse. Hell, I see college textbooks and professional communication with blatant typos in it a lot anymore. Point is, I've been seeing things done so wrong the past few years, it's definitely been getting harder for me to remember how words are correctly spelled or how to apply the proper grammar to a sentence.
As a song once said: Times they are a changing. It seems as though you refuse to keep up with modern society...

Quote:
Communication is another trouble area that is regressing for me personally and I see the same for many others. Fortunately my written communication is still solid since I refuse to tweet and don't really involve myself in social media, but I still do most of my communication these days via email or IM. I hardly have real conversations anymore, and the less you use something, the worse you become at it.
My kids, grandkids and friends are scattered all over the globe, I don't see my communications skills getting any worse. Hmmmmm

Quote:
So my question stands. Is the internet and this digital age we live in actually making us dumber instead of smarter? I'm in my late twenties only and I often find myself wishing things were more the way they were when I was a kid. Maybe I'm the only one that feels our growing technology is actually ruining us, but I've just been noticing that it seems many people's skills and smarts (in addition to my own!) are regressing due to technology. I'm skeptical about our society's future as tech continues to boom. It will certainly be different... but good different or bad different is the big question. :P

What do people think?
WOW! you are in your twenties (I'm closing in on seventy) and you are wishing for "the old days"?

As I stated earlier, yes times are changing and I'm glad for it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 12:24 PM
 
539 posts, read 544,444 times
Reputation: 749
OP, you might be interested in the book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.

One part in that book I found really interesting is when he discusses the comparison in our comprehension when we read an article on the internet versus in print. When reading online, there's possible videos to watch, as well as hyperlinks sprinkled throughout the text. They found that each time we come across a hyperlink, for instance, our brain has to make a decision: do I click or not? And all that lowers our capacity to focus on what we're reading, even if we're not aware of it. (I think it has to do with working memory.) So people who read the article online scored much lower on comprehension than people who read the article in print.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Riding the light...
1,635 posts, read 1,386,672 times
Reputation: 1159
Is the Internet and Technology making us Stupid?

I don't think so, but that would depend on whom you reference as 'us' and their use of the resources.

I was a bit shy during my school age, probably more self esteem but a negative nonetheless. I had questions in class but wouldn't ask. I'd ask questions at home but got no answers.

Since I've had worldwide access to information at my finger tips I've learned more than any class might have intended to teach, excepting astronomy, and logic. But when I was in high school much of what we knew about astronomy has changed. Where is anyone going to learn about that?

When it comes time to make the largest investment that you're going to handle from month to month do you want a realtor to show you the properties she thinks she wants you to have or will you be armed with the info to know if the realtor knows what she's talking about? In my state I can look up property appraisals, taxes and prior ownership before bothering with taking a look.

And politics. Again, we know far more about our politicians and political process today than we did even before the last day of the 20th century. Even today very few are fortunate enough to know that from having attended public schools (or even university) as recently as last week.

The internet is a tool and access to technology, as was a calculator. As it is an access to information such as a library, or dictionary. 'They' can use it to be stupid. Or we can use the tool to increase our knowledge. I might have been a much better student if I had access to the wealth of information available through the internet.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 03:41 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,330 posts, read 19,035,700 times
Reputation: 18436
I wouldn't say more "stupid", but it certainly is more distracting. It must be the biggest distraction in history.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 09:13 PM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,860 posts, read 3,724,640 times
Reputation: 15268
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
I have never seen the point in memorizing things... technology and the Internet have made it vastly easier to get an answer to a question or sudden interest in something. I can lay my hands on more research data in one hour on the Internet than I can spending dozens of hours in libraries.

With some of the points you bring up you sure it's not old age or a medical problem as the reason I am often trying hard how to remember simple calculations I once had memorized, or how to spell words that no one should have difficulty spelling.



Funny, my spelling expertise has increased radically with technology and the Internet.



Slang talk has been around for at least the past century and meme speak? All I can say is languages change with the times...



Just why on Gods green Earth do people have to learn how to do calculations other than the basic of skills?



Don't blame technology or the Internet, blame the education system. Blame the parents for not discussing history with their children...



In case you haven't noticed society has been evolving these past 20 or so years. So communicating via keyboard is different than communicating in person? If anything communicating via keyboard more things are said that would not be said in a face-to-face chat...



As a song once said: Times they are a changing. It seems as though you refuse to keep up with modern society...



My kids, grandkids and friends are scattered all over the globe, I don't see my communications skills getting any worse. Hmmmmm



WOW! you are in your twenties (I'm closing in on seventy) and you are wishing for "the old days"?

As I stated earlier, yes times are changing and I'm glad for it.
I agree with you!!

I personally LOVE the easy access to information. I find myself looking up something, which then leads to somewhere else, which leads to somewhere else, and I can read for HOURS!

When I was a kid, I read the set of encyclopedias my parents had purchased FOR FUN. Yeah...that was me...they nerdy kid. I thought all that information was SO FASCINATING and INTERESTING. Then I'd go to the local library and look up books on things I'd read about. I read and read and read as a kid. I still read and read and read...I just do it mostly online.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 09:25 PM
 
9,321 posts, read 7,324,406 times
Reputation: 22807
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Just why on Gods green Earth do people have to learn how to do calculations other than the basic of skills?
It's sad that you don't realize the role of algebra and advanced math plays in your everyday life. Even the computer/phone you are using works on mathematical principals and programming languages rooted in math.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 09:44 PM
 
26,941 posts, read 38,191,714 times
Reputation: 34884
People are becoming more ignorant. I see it every day. Give someone money to pay for something and if they don't have a machine to tell them how much to give in change they can't do it. Want to have some fun? The next time your bill is something like sixteen dollars and six cents give the cashier twenty one dollars and six cents. If they don't have a machine to tell them what to do they will be flummoxed.

They are no longer teaching cursive in schools because it's too hard.

Kids are being taught to the level of the dumbest one in glass because we must "leave no child behind". As a result, globally speaking, we are leaving all our children behind. Thanks King Bush II. Moron.

Kids in a contest? It used to be that the top three got ribbons for their achievement. Now they all get ribbons. Even the one that can't spell their own name. Lowest common denominator. So they all learn that it's not necessary to make an effort for a reward. Once they get into the business world they still expect it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2015, 10:51 PM
 
1,116 posts, read 1,855,812 times
Reputation: 2083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
People are becoming more ignorant. I see it every day. Give someone money to pay for something and if they don't have a machine to tell them how much to give in change they can't do it. Want to have some fun? The next time your bill is something like sixteen dollars and six cents give the cashier twenty one dollars and six cents. If they don't have a machine to tell them what to do they will be flummoxed.

They are no longer teaching cursive in schools because it's too hard.

Kids are being taught to the level of the dumbest one in glass because we must "leave no child behind". As a result, globally speaking, we are leaving all our children behind. Thanks King Bush II. Moron.

Kids in a contest? It used to be that the top three got ribbons for their achievement. Now they all get ribbons. Even the one that can't spell their own name. Lowest common denominator. So they all learn that it's not necessary to make an effort for a reward. Once they get into the business world they still expect it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
It's sad that you don't realize the role of algebra and advanced math plays in your everyday life. Even the computer/phone you are using works on mathematical principals and programming languages rooted in math.
These are really the points I'm trying to drive home and I observe these types of things all the time. Basic math skills are essential to life, but really people can't even do simple additions and subtractions without a machine to tell them how.

What really gets me is spelling and proper grammar though. I'm a bit of a grammar perfectionist per say, but even I'm starting to have trouble how you spell words. Even with tools like spellcheck and dictionary lookups on hand, I am appalled by all the typos and other misspellings I CONSTANTLY run across. Like I said in the OP, you see something wrong so much, your brain starts to question what really is right or wrong.

And what about hand writing. I mean, cursive is not even taught anymore, but you wouldn't believe how many people can't even print legibly and correctly because they are so used to typing and having words autocorrect, autofill, or show them the correct spelling. I occasionally have to hand write letters at my job and even I find myself having to pull up a google search to see how to spell a word correctly. It really just amazes me how many misspellings I see in all written communication these days. It's saddening.

And like someone else mentioned, just because we have immediate access to all the knowledge in the world doesn't mean we are smarter. It doesn't mean we retain it. It doesn't mean we learn it. We simply look up things at our fancy and quickly forget it in search of the next thing to lookup.

Maybe this topic just stems from a pet peeve of mine rather than a major societal issue, but the state of things really do not look good to me...
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2015, 02:42 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 16,868,606 times
Reputation: 7623
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
It's sad that you don't realize the role of algebra and advanced math plays in your everyday life. Even the computer/phone you are using works on mathematical principals and programming languages rooted in math.
Not in the least, I watch television... Do I need concern myself with the "mathematical principals" that designed it?

I worked in the IT field for over 40 years in hardware, OS and network support.. I left the programming languages to the propeller heads, I didn't understand their technobabble and they didn't understand mine. A perfect IT world.

Some people like math, I myself have done quite well in my life with basic math.

~ Do you realize the role chemistry plays in your life ❓
~ Do you realize the role astrophysics plays in your life❓
~ Do you realize the role particle physics plays in your life❓

01000100 01101111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110011 01101001 01100011 00100000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100111 01110101 01100001 01100111 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110101 01110011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110011 00111111

41 6e 6f 74 68 65 72 20 65 78 61 6d 70 6c 65 20 43 50 55 20 6c 61 6e 67 75 61 67 65

124 150 151 163 040 151 163 040 117 143 164 141 154 054 040 141 156 157 164 150 145 162 040 154 141 156 147 165 141 147 145

Don't pick on something that is near and dear to your heart and look down your nose at other people who don't share your ideals 😳
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top