Saturday, 28 April 2012

Is The Internet Making You Dumber or Smarter?

It seems to me that the Internet is making people stupid, and it's just not because the Internet is full of ridiculous and stupid information, as there is a lot of very good information on the Internet as well. Unfortunately, the highest traffic sites are those of celebrity gossip, pictures of kittens, and all sorts of other nonsense. Of course, the Internet is also used now for entertainment and is quickly replacing the television - social networks are replacing what people used to use the Internet and TV for; entertainment.

There was an interesting quote cited on the Famous Technium Blog posted on April 7, 2012 which stated; "The internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality," stated Kevin Drum, reprinted from Mother Jones on February 17, 2012.

Indeed, I have philosophized about this previously, and it has been a discussion at our think tank over the last for five years, especially after the advent of social networking, it seems people are spending 3 to 4 hours a day wasting their time looking at nonsense. If we were to look at what the average American searches online each and every day, we would be able to easily classify their IQ, based on the types of things they are thinking about, involved with, and their level of curiosity based on the questions they type into the search engine.

In fact, I would say that since everyone uses the Internet now, smart people and dumb people, that is to say billions of people, and everything in between - that it probably is a reality that the Internet can make you smarter if you choose to let it, or it can dummy you down if you get sucked into the incessant nonsense. Luckily, as Americans we do have a choice. Now then, obviously I would hope that you choose more intelligent content to view, although as I understand it, everyone wants a little down time now and again.

Perhaps it is the percentage of intellectual content, or meaningless dribble that you view which makes all the difference. After all, it is said that you become what you think about, and if the search engine is an extension of your thoughts and your mind, then in fact how you use it, just as how you use your brain will determine if you are more intelligent or less intelligent in the future. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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