Technology Makes You Stupid?

from the or-maybe-it's-just-those-who-don't-get-technology dept

A silly article written by someone who is showing their age, complaining about things he doesn’t understand when it comes to others using technology. It comes off as a “Well, back in my day, we didn’t have any of this new-fangled technology stuff, since we had to walk to school uphill both ways in the rain, and etch our homework in clay….” While I personally don’t enjoy ringtones (I’m good with keeping the damn phone on vibrate, so as not to bother others), that doesn’t mean they’re making people stupid. He’s upset that ringtone popularity is now more indicative of what’s popular than sales of singles, because apparently, what determined pop culture when he was a kid must always determine pop culture or something must be wrong. He also completely misses the point of camera-phones, assuming that because the quality doesn’t match regular digital cameras, there’s absolutely no use for them. The reason people are buying them isn’t because of quality (which is only getting better anyway), but because they offer the ability to do other things that a regular camera does not (for example: quickly take snapshots, and send them somewhere else).

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Comments on “Technology Makes You Stupid?”

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Disk Lamer says:

does technology make one stupid?

Mike, your little diatribe was spoken like a true 20-something, no sense of history or of how people essentially don’t change, no matter what sort of technology is current. Someday, when you’re old, you’ll likely be ranting just like the person in the article you mentioned. Grow up.

LordSludge says:


Although the core argument is valid — technology does make you “stupid” in that it frees you from learning & maintaining basic skills — but the article is poorly written and doesn’t drive any particular point home except that kids these days suck…
Here’s a recent example from my own tech-aided life: I went to the emergency room the other night due to a nasty cut on my hand. In my haste — the blood! the blood! — I left my PDA at home. I answered most of their admittance questions, but I couldn’t for the life of me (heh) remember my family doctor’s name, let alone her contact information. The hospital staff looked at me like I was either stupid or lying, because they couldn’t believe I didn’t know my doctor’s name.
But the fact is, I’ve dumped those facts I don’t need every day to my PDA. It serves as a crutch for my lousy memory, but in so doing, has destroyed my ability to recall a whole bunch of facts. I’ve become more “stupid”, if you will — that is, unless I have my PDA.
And that is, of course, the whole idea: I generally don’t *have* to remember my doctor’s phone number. I look at it this way: my brain has a more or less finite processing capacity. By dumping the more basic functions (contact info memory, simple math, etc.) in favor of more complex tools (PDAs, calculators, etc.), we not only extend our abilities in those areas, but also free up our minds for higher pursuits.
…such as juggling knives while drinking heavily…
As for the utterly unrelated rant about camera phones, he doesn’t GET it. The reasons to have a camera phone are:
1. You can send images directly from the phone. (I’m personally getting impatient w/ regular digi-cams — “Ya mean I have to wait til I get home and sync w/ my PC??? lame…”) Thus, picture-taking serves as another tool of conversation.
2. You ALWAYS have it with you. Granted, even a lousy digi-cam is generally better quality, but you only have a pretty narrow window of opportunity in which to use it, i.e., when you are expecting a good picture-taking opportunity.

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