With information being more easily accessible than ever because of the internet, a question you may be asking yourself is, “has the internet made you smarter?” Many scholars have argued over if the internet has made us smarter or dumber, and there really is no clear definitive answer. In some ways it has made us dumber, and in others it has made us smarter. There are also ways of avoiding the internet if you believe it has taken over your life.
Some people argue that it has made us dumber because we no longer have to train ourselves to retain and remember any information, which makes us lazy and less motivated to do rigorous research for important info in books and encyclopedias, and then take notes on the subject. With the click of a button you can instantly find out what you need to find out, and then forget about it because you can always just look it up again instantly. With everything so easily and quickly accessible on the internet it has also been argued that peoples attention spans and patients have been greatly diminished. This is because all of the information you could ever want is available on any subject matter instantly. This gives people instant gratification and access for finding out any and all things they could ever want to find out about. This in turn makes people a lot less patient for life in general.
On the other hand it has also been argued that the internet has made us smarter because it has become an outlet for expanding on creativity, it has streamlined commerce, and it has helped us connect with the rest of the world instantly. People are now able to experiment with and create a wide range of useful material digitally. It has basically opened up a whole new world of technology where people can make a living online, have fun online, and share information all at the same time. The ability for us to be able to do these things makes managing our busy lives just a little bit easier, and in some ways smarter.
If you are concerned that the internet has taken over your life, you can try and take a break from it for a while, and force yourself to do things the old fashioned way. Some things you can try are sending out physical letters in the mail instead of calling someone or sending them an email. You can also try doing research the old school way of actually cracking open a book and taking notes. Maybe even create something or do an activity that involves your hands and/or physical labor. It can feel good and refreshing to slow down from time to time and do things the old fashioned way. Either way the world, internet, and technology are never going to stop evolving. The bottom line is that it’s up to you to decide if the internet has made you smarter or dumber.