April 16, 2024 the4d

Is Technology Making Us Dumber?

How often have you heard someone grumble “all this tech is making people dumber”, only to have them pull out their phone to google something? But could they have a point? Is tech making us dumber?

Well, according to the experts, the answer is NO. There is no scientific evidence to support this point of view – despite what you might think! In fact, University of Cincinnati social/behavioural expert Anthony Chemero stated in a recent paper, co-authored with colleagues at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, that “Despite the headlines, there is no scientific evidence that shows that smartphones and digital technology harm our biological cognitive abilities.” The paper was published on 01 July, 2021, in case you were wondering.

But there’s more; Chemero and his co-authors posit that smartphones actually supplement the way we think, making us more efficient and helping us to excel. They believe that today’s tech is changing the way we “engage our biological cognitive abilities” and are “cognitively beneficial”.

So what’s their theory? Well, it seems that what basic tech does for us is take over the everyday, mundane tasks that bog us down, like searching for directions (no need for annoying, fold-out paper maps anymore) or remembering phone numbers and addresses. This frees up our brain power to handle more complex tasks, like building rocket ships, electric cars and perfecting artificial intelligence. It’s a natural progression, kind of like how calculators replaced the abacus (ancient tech, if you will). Tech helps us make better informed decisions (e.g. using GPS to plan your route), provides us with the tools we need to accomplish more and perhaps makes us smarter if anything.

Not convinced? Still think some people are dumb because of the tech they rely on? Here’s a thought: it might not be the tech.

Read more about it here: https://bit.ly/3kzPEbg

Read the paper, titled “Technology may change cognition without necessarily harming it” here:

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