Is the internet making us stupid?

Well is it? When was the last time you read a long book or had the time to think deeply about some aspect of your life or the world around you?

Do you find it hard to concentrate on things? Is your attention constantly scattered by the demands of emails or the temptation to hopscotch from link to link?

If so, you might be suffering from what some think are the effects of using the internet. Effects that may include re-shaping the neural networks in our brain.

So are we suffering from a threat to our ability to read deeply and think seriously or is this yet another example of fear of the new?

66 Responses to “Is the internet making us stupid?”

  1. 1 Bob in Queensland
    August 14, 2008 at 11:17


    (I’d post more but I’m anxious to check a topic I’m following in “Talking Points”.)

  2. 2 Katharina in Ghent
    August 14, 2008 at 11:20

    Big LOL!

    First of all, I still read books and always will, one day, when I die, you will have to pry a book from my cold, dead hands…

    Deep serious thoughts have never been my strongest point, but I do still have those, too.

    What has been affected, though, especially since becoming a WHYS addict, is my work attitude, where I constantly check whether someone wrote something or not. Before WHYS, I just checked my emails more or less regularly, but I don’t get that many emails, so it wasn’t a big issue. So from that point of view, yes, my ability to concentrate has suffered a bit, but I still manage to get the priorities right. (= Work first, WHYS in the breaks, like now)

  3. 3 Meg in Canada
    August 14, 2008 at 11:23

    I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t think the internet has made me stupid. If anything its exposed me to more topics of interest that I wouldn’t have known about before. I still read books all the time though – although I’ll admit that most of them over the last five years have been textbooks! The internet does not ruin a person’s free will and they can use that free will to read and seek out information elsewhere.

  4. 4 nelsoni
    August 14, 2008 at 11:28

    If people can’t strike a balance between the real world and virtual reality, the internet will most certainly make them stupid.

  5. 5 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 14, 2008 at 11:56

    @ Internet making us stupid? Nope. The truth is that some people are becoming addicted to the cybernet because of its resourcefulness. It is a gateway to information and has therefore broadened horizons of its users. @ Nelsoni, how are here again. Lets keep the ball rolling.

  6. 6 Robert
    August 14, 2008 at 12:06

    Not sure if the internet is the cause or simply another symptom of a wider problem. I’ve worked with a few peers of my age (late 20’s) who have a very broad range of knowledge about our industry but it is all superficial. Ask them a specific and detailed question or to do the calculation themselves and you get a very strange look. It has become expected nowadays that the computer does all the work and they need to just copy and paste the results into a word document or email. No understanding of the fundamentals behind the work they’re doing or sometimes even why they’re doing it.

    People in general seem to be more prone to getting bored and seeking new things. Few want to spend the time getting into the details anymore, whether its on the internet, how to DIY vs call the handiman or even in thier day job!

  7. 7 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 14, 2008 at 12:06

    @ Nelsoni, meant to say you are here again. Like Nelson said, striking a balance. A student needs to remain focus on his job and only uses the internet when necessary. A working person needs to put his job first and browse the net at leisure. The law of impenetrability: two things can not occupy the same place at the same time. They should be mutually exclusive.

  8. 8 Brett
    August 14, 2008 at 12:19

    If so, you might be suffering from what some think are the effects of using the internet. Effects that may include re-shaping the neural networks in our brain.

    Heck, I’m not suffering. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was a child, so I’m fine with hopping from link to link and subject to subject quickly lol.

    On a side note, I read more hard copy print than before I got big onto the internet. National Geographic, Time, Vegetarian Times, and books.

  9. 9 steve
    August 14, 2008 at 12:29

    I don’t think stupid, but surely lazy. They said the same thing with spell checkers on word processors. I’ve found that adults, even with advanced degrees, absolutely cannot spell without the help of a spell checker. I was attempting to read a book last night that consistent used “your” when “you’re” was required…

  10. 10 Katharina in Ghent
    August 14, 2008 at 12:44

    @ Steve:

    That would be “consistently“… adverb instead of adjective 8)

  11. August 14, 2008 at 13:30

    The internet, like all other media, is just a tool. You can choose to buy “National Geographic” or “Hustler”. One will increase your knowledge base on things outside yourself and inspire personal sociological growth. The other well .. it won’t do that. You can use TV to receive college courses, get the news, or watch video produced by scientist and hosted by a Nobel Prize winning, former VP, that got bull dozed by the Supreme Court about the human effect on global warming. Or you can watch FOX and it reality shows, paranoia catering shows like 24 and their news coverage.

    The internet is no different. It is only both better and worse. Time is finite. What one does with it will either make them smarter, leave them unchanged, or (see above) in some cases will actually make them dumber. I did a report in ’04. At that time 60% of the hits on websites were to either pornographic or fortune telling websites. (The second one really floored me.) Gambling came in third. Then there came e-commerce, News sites, and organizational information. We have to put policies out telling people not to look at porn in our work places! So use it to take classes or use it to read fictitious e-mail.

    The classic joke about the wife that asks the husband, “do these jeans make may butt look fat?” The overly honest husband answers, “No, your fat makes your butt look fat!” Does the internet make you stupid? No, your stupidity makes you look stupid.

  12. 12 1430a
    August 14, 2008 at 13:58

    haha nice topic
    i am still reading books.the latest being Lord of the Rings and trust me you need lots of deep thought to understand it.so i am not sure if it is really effecting me directly but you never know if it can have a long term effect.

  13. 13 steve
    August 14, 2008 at 14:11

    @ Katharina

    You’re fired. I type incredibly quickly and miss lots of letters.

  14. 14 parth guragain
    August 14, 2008 at 14:14

    to some extent it is true and to some extent it is not.but what i think is that what internet have done is the emergence of cross fertilization of thought all over the world.but some time we are bogged down by the views that are imposed on us by internet we don’t think the pros and cons of those issues by own.what we must know that we must have our individual thought on each and every issue rather than being influenced on by views imposed on us by internet.but definetly internet helps us to know other people view.what we have seen is that with emergence of internet culture and strong emergence of television culture throughout the world in recent days we definetly have grown restless and we don’t want to go through book to have through knowledge in any issue.we in this part of world in asian continent is developing society and internet have helped us a great deal in knowing about different part of world.but internet here is very slow but still many people are getting various benifit by using internet.what i see in the days to come is that internet will drastically bring world closer and in next 20-30 years barries of different culture will be shattered.

  15. 15 Julie P
    August 14, 2008 at 14:27

    Our attention span has decreased, not because of the internet, but because of microwave ovens. Let’s face it, waiting a minute for our breakfast to heat up has become an eternity!

  16. August 14, 2008 at 14:33

    Hi Akbar here in Tehran
    The internet is a God-send for journalism and news, particularly for places like Tehran, where the majority of capable and professional journalists are lingering in prison.
    If internet could become more accessible and even-handed in treating events and daily events, it would help.
    I don’t like to be bullied or influenced into believing one thing and discarding something else, which the internet frequently does.
    Filtering is another problem. State sponsored censorship is appalling, how to get round it!
    Journalism on line would be a blessing, without censorship, from all parts of the world.
    The internet is still in its early stages. There are so many ways of making it more effectice and universal.

  17. 17 Susan USA
    August 14, 2008 at 15:24

    You really have to look at why people are using the internet.

    The internet has clearly diminished the usage of the small town library. So for convenience purposes it has opened up a whole new avenue for those who like and need to do research, which therefore broadens the mind.

    If it’s being used just to chat or play games, I believe it creates laziness and addiction.

  18. 18 Count Iblis
    August 14, 2008 at 15:33

    Perhaps the internet is itself a self-aware entity. The internet depends on humans browsing it and posting information on it. This is similar to our own brains which are communities of cells living together.

    From the point of view of a single nerve cell in our brain, not much has changed since the last 3.5 billion years. But the cells in our body have adapted so much to living in a community, that they now cannot survive outside of it. Apart from that, they have stayed very much the same.

    Perhaps something similar is happening now. Darwinian evolution led to the formation of complex organisms. Perhaps today it is advertising leading to websites that attract more visitors to be able to grow. This leads to a sort of Darwinian selection that leads to more and more addictive websites that people want to visit/use more and more.

  19. 19 Colleen
    August 14, 2008 at 16:28

    i agree with many of the posts. you can use the internet to learn to new things and increase knowledge, or you can use it for entertainment, shopping, or it could be used to feed other potential addictions (i.e. gambling). it all depends on the individual using it.

    one thing that i think the internet, and other forms of modern technology, have done though is decrease true inter-personal communication. sure we all correspond on here but i’m sure the dynamics would be much different if we were all talking in person. and how many times a day at work do people IM or e-mail someone sitting 2 cubes away?

    again i guess this depends on the person though….

  20. August 14, 2008 at 16:33

    Hmmm – I am reading 40 days and 40 nights about the Kitzmiller Vs Dover ID court case (Creationism in Schools), running a household, writing a blog (which I would like to be paid to do), writing a book, searching for a literary agent, helping my wife in the Photography business – I suspect I have too much time on my hands and will have to start logging onto TMZ just to see the latest Bradjolina stories.

  21. 21 Vijay
    August 14, 2008 at 18:21

    Yes,In the same way pocket calculators make us stupid at maths(english) or math(“American”).

  22. 22 Pangolin- California
    August 14, 2008 at 21:42

    Does the kitchen lamp make cockroaches?

    The internet just reveals whatever was in the mind of whateve person created that little bit at that point in time. Which is why I use a pseudonym (I googled the spelling) when I am online so that my mistakes and stupities are searchable till the end of time. At least no under my real name.

    In hardcopy I am reading the complete works of Neal Stephenson and Ian Banks, two science fiction writers known for the ferocious intellectual density of their writings. I have a copy of Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How societies choose to fail or suceed” next to my bed if I need some nodding off reading.

    The TV hasn’t been turned on in several weeks.

  23. 23 Pangolin- California
    August 14, 2008 at 21:45

    Alas, I still haven’t mastered the art of proofing before hitting the submit button. Spelling above should be “stupidities”. Dyslexics of the macroverse untie!!

  24. August 15, 2008 at 07:31

    In one way, the knife helps us to cut an apple. But in other way, it can be used to kill a person. Therefore success or failure is not depend on the tool which we use but on individual that use it. That’s way for some people, Internet is very useful and for others, it’s a curse.

  25. 25 Meg in Canada
    August 15, 2008 at 13:33

    Does anyone here think that the use of “internet speak” like LOL, BRB, IMHO has caused young children who use instant messengers to have poor grammar and spelling? I remember the first time someone sent me a message that said “LOL” at the bottom of it… I had no idea what they were talking about.

  26. August 15, 2008 at 14:04

    The internet is not making us stupid. It is instead making us addicted to computer and consuming our time. I’ve learn more thing from the internet. It is educative and people should know how to budget their time. Simple.

  27. 27 Jennifer
    August 15, 2008 at 14:22

    I don’t think the Internet makes people stupid, It’s how they use it that can be of little value. If you use the Internet to read news and for educational purposes then it’s an asset but if you only use it to play games or etc. you aren’t really making the most of it. On t.v., we can choose to watch discovery channel or cartoons. It’s a personal choice in what a person places more value on.

    @ Meg

    I think it can lead to poor grammar and spelling in children and adults. Speaking of instant messengers and email and etc. I think those tend to take away from the face to face interaction that can be so important in a conversation. I know you can purchase groceries online, rent movies, and it’s pretty much endless but why not just go to the store?

  28. 28 Meg in Canada
    August 15, 2008 at 14:26

    @ Jennifer,

    You raise an excellent point about the internet limiting true social interaction. People can even date online! I think the Internet is all about a matter of convenience. But is it causing more problems than it’s worth?!

  29. 29 Nick in USA
    August 15, 2008 at 14:32

    No way! The internet is like an endless book. I have learned about so many things on the internet. You can study science, mechanics, and business all at the same time. If you’re looking at gossip or porn sites, it’s definitely not going to make you any smarter, but anyone looking at those sites probably wasn’t brilliant before the internet.

    I guess it does make me a bit more scatterbrained though. Maybe even impatient because I think I should get what I want instantly now.

    About reading books, the last book I read was Clone Wars (2 weeks ago). It’s not the most sophisticated book, but it was the only thing that looked interesting in the airport. The internet has actually caused me to read more books because I can check the available books at my local library online. I’m also a big books on tape guy because I travel for work all the time. I just pop the cd in and drive. You can go 10 hours while listening to a good book, and you don’t even realize it.

  30. 30 Nick in USA
    August 15, 2008 at 14:34

    @ Pangolin

    “Dyslexics of the macroverse untie!!”

    That should be on a t-shirt, if it’s not already.

  31. 31 Mostafa
    August 15, 2008 at 14:37

    Hi all,

    Reading through your posts, I agree with Mohammad Ali in saying that Internet makes us addicted to computer instead of making us stupid!

    Or I can say, it makes us more lazy, but not stupid for sure!
    I say lazy because for whatever comes into your mind, you don’t put yourself much into trouble to go into library and find the answer to your question! You just search for it (or better say google it!) and then there you go!

    I don’t think if internet can stop us from reading books, or doing research. Because, I believe a swimmer can even swim in a salty lake!
    If you are someone interested in research and study, then you will go for it, even if you have limited access to resources or if you have the latest technology.


  32. 32 Suresh
    August 15, 2008 at 14:40

    Reading a book used to be a singular immersive experience. For example, last week I read Rutherford’s “Russka”. After 20 pages, I felt the urge to google up information on the Tartars and Mongols. Took me on a different trajectory and I did end up enjoying the tangential direction. Another 20 pages later, I googled up the reign of Catherine the Great and others. To me, this way of reading gave me depth and breadth. Of course, the story in the book didnt remain the most important thing.

    Essentially, the point I make is this. The Internet provides us breadth and depth in information. A lot of us with short attention spans surf the breadth. Getting depth of knowledge is still incumbent on the individual. Don’t blame the Internet for that.

    Our attention spans have come down over the decades significantly. I remember watching 2-3 minute commercials when I was in school. Today on TV I find the average runtime of the commercial to be 30 seconds.

    Another example – I was speaking to my ENT specialist after getting treated for peritonsilitis. Using information from the Internet, I was able to challenge her basis for recommending surgery. I was able to accurately understand the medicines prescribed and what each was for. This wasn’t possible 10 years ago unless you were a medical professional yourself.

    Essentially the ability to convert yourself into an expert on any topic within one hour is what the Internet offers us. This is a force multiplier unlike any. The intellectual abilities of millions available on command. I now want to have a wearable access to the Internet as opposed to my clunky Blackberry GPRS.

    When I meet someone, I want to be able to google them up, look up their LinkedIn connections and Facebook profiles to see who we know in common, know which school/university they went to, even what sports/hobbies they enjoy. This will be fantastic information to have on demand and help connect to even complete strangers.

    Games and other addtictive things are perhaps the flipside of the coin. Be smart about it, what else can I say.

  33. 33 Mehran
    August 15, 2008 at 14:43

    No… Not really… it might be true to some extent, but the advantages are much more noticing. Internet has helped me stay connected with researchers and my colleagues from around the world.

    It is a powerful tool which can provide easier access to information for people living in third world countries. I’m from Iran and would like to share my thoughts in your program too.

  34. August 15, 2008 at 14:48

    In my opinion Internet neither making us stupid nor lazy. It makes our lives easier than ever before. If internet wasn’t invented then definitely WHYS and many other popular sites also didn’t came existence. For me, today, Internet is everything. But for other it may be worthless. It depends on how we use it. I think anybody couldn’t have right to comment that it makes our life stupid and busy, if they think so then they can easily leave the use of internet.

  35. 35 Tom
    August 15, 2008 at 15:01

    How could the Great Library of the modern age make us stupid? Rather it makes us lazy with the ease in which we could obtain information of all kinds at the comfort of our bedroom.

  36. 36 Jennifer
    August 15, 2008 at 15:11


    I think the Internet does have it’s usefulness. It is convenient that we have so much information available to us on so many things. Sometimes it seems that there is so much information it’s like overload. If the Internet weren’t available, would we be unable to find information through other means or would we even want to bother? I think that there is something to be said for having a good face to face conversation instead of just sending an email or reading a good book. I don’t think I’d consider online dating, only if I knew the guy in person as well.

  37. 37 Colleen
    August 15, 2008 at 15:12

    What are people’s opinions of social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace)? Are they a big time-waster or a good means of keeping in touch?

  38. 38 Bryan
    August 15, 2008 at 15:23

    Meg in Canada August 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    “Does anyone here think that the use of “internet speak” like LOL, BRB, IMHO has caused young children who use instant messengers to have poor grammar and spelling? I remember the first time someone sent me a message that said “LOL” at the bottom of it… I had no idea what they were talking about.”

    The first time I saw it I thought someone had spelt ‘loll’ – to lounge around – wrongly. I try to avoid internet-speak. Why use ROFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my ar*e off) when you can just say, “That’s so funny?”

  39. 39 Meg in Canada
    August 15, 2008 at 16:57

    @ Jennifer

    Agreed! It seems we are drowning in information, at least the Internet is a (somewhat) easy way to sift through it all!

    @ Bryan,

    I agree with you as well, why not just say “that’s so funny” instead of ROFL?! I also notice that in the younger generation they don’t have a distinction between writing a conversation in “internet speak” and writing something professional. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll get an e-mail from someone at work who uses abbreviations like “u” (you), “r” (are) and ends in salutations like “PO” (Peace Out)! I think there is a time and place for such language, and it worries me that that line is becoming blurred.

    @ Colleen,

    Although Facebook is a colossal form of procrastination that I know many students like to use, I will say that the security measures on Facebook are better than say, MSN. I know some people that have had trouble with the security precautions of MSN but actually feel “safer” on Facebook. That being said, to get to your original question… Facebook is good to find out what old friends have been up to. But it seems to have become a popularity contest for who has the most friends. Also, I think it’s kind of strange that people try and make their profiles “individual” and “original” by adding applications that someone else created… just a thought…

  40. 40 steve
    August 15, 2008 at 16:59

    The whole facebook/myspace stuff is a major redflag to me. Lots of narcissism.

  41. 41 Jessica in NYC
    August 15, 2008 at 17:54

    @ Jennifer

    @ Katharina in Ghent
    LOL, I’m off now. I don’t want you correcting my grammar.

  42. 42 Shirley
    August 15, 2008 at 18:07

    Perhaps it’s not so much the internet as it is the TV. We hate reading anything longer than soundbytes and find it difficult to have real conversations beyond “did not” and “did too.”

  43. 43 Colleen
    August 15, 2008 at 18:10

    @ steve

    i totally agree… i used to have a facebook page but then i felt weird putting together a whole page about myself… it does have a major feel of narcissism…. also i realized it was nice to see what people i havent seen in a while were doing, but then it dawned on me that i could actually call them and have a conversation instead of looking through their random pictures! it’s one thing if you just check it out from time to time, but some people really get obsessed with their pages or with tracking other people’s pages….

  44. 44 Colleen
    August 15, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Bryan

    is ROFLMAO an actual piece of internet lingo?? if so, i’m going to ROFLMAO!!

  45. August 15, 2008 at 18:28

    Stupid? Compared to what? Deep, thoughtful, reflective, and patience? Yes, stupid? What happened to making choices based on true value, the big picture and possible consequences. They give reasons for their decision in words that no one else knows (except for those who “hang out” on the same web sources), but that they can define and defend.

    As I’ve seen it, we’ve become lazy, impatient, and fat. I don’t know if the internet is to blame, but why is the amount of people who are overweight has skyrocketed? How easy is it to get up and do something with extra weight? How easy is it to sit there and justify surfing the web for whatever reason?

    Meg from Canada on 8/14 said, “The internet does not ruin a person’s free will and they can use that free will to read and seek out information elsewhere.” From what I have learned, free will is when all choices are equal, and you choose one or the other. When you’re sitting staring at the computer, I beg to differ. All choices are not equal. You choose based on you’re there, it’s there, use that. That is not free choice.

    Yes, we have endless resources at out fingertips, literally. However, I think we should choose life. Go there, do things, express ourselves, have successes, make mistakes, think about it, learn, and do it again.

  46. 46 Meg in Canada
    August 15, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Colleen,

    ROFLMAO is a piece of internet lingo… ridiculous, isn’t it?

  47. August 15, 2008 at 18:31

    I made a mistake. Can’t see how to edit. I meant:
    Yes, stupid! What happened to making choices based on true value, the big picture and possible consequences? People give reasons for their decision in words that no one else knows (except for those who “hang out” on the same web sources), but that they can define and defend.

  48. 48 Meg in Canada
    August 15, 2008 at 18:39

    @ Chavah

    but a person can make a conscious choice to go to the library instead of using the Internet. It is within their own power to do so. That is what I meant by free will.

  49. 49 jamily5
    August 15, 2008 at 20:50

    for me, as a blind person, technology has made the vast halls of information accessible.
    I am now able to read my own research and on occasion, I still research topics.Books are put in an electronic format which (like it or not) is less expensive than braille — and much more compact.
    I still enjoy braille, but it is much easier to get a (full text version) of a book that was uploaded electronically and read it on my commute to anywhere.I can’t imagine “From Bayroot to Jeruselum,” by Tom Freidman (the current read) in braille. It would be several volumes.
    I say (full version) because many recorded versions are abridged.
    It is not just the computer: technology, in itself has made our society, on the whole, a bit lazier and impatient.
    Yet, we still have our own free will.
    There have been studies that show that Americans report that they are more lonely now, than ever before.
    some of it is due to our desire to have a mate: right now!!!

  50. 50 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    August 15, 2008 at 20:55

    In a specific sense, it could be proven that the internet is making us smarter. Written and verbal communication is processed by two observably distinct areas of the brain. Studies have shown that children who write more at an early age, continue to write more later in life. Those who don’t, find it more difficult to learn writing skills, just as foreign language is harder to learn later in life.

    It’s a bit ironic [or am I wanting for a more accurate word] that technology, which once virtually erased the letter writing tradition by inventing long distance phone calls, is now repopularizing written communication by way of e-mail.

    There are problems with how some people use other aspects of the web, but these have already been long associated with television. At least the web has some potential for encouraging people to interact. And like television, you will find the worst problems associated not with the medium, but with those who only use it with potential profit in mind.

    Would any writer really keep churning out a diet of crappy sitcoms if they didn’t have to do it just to keep food on the table? Would anyone really pay all the costs of putting reality TV on the air if there wasn’t a sponsor footing the bill?

    Oh, and to anyone who doesn’t get LOL by now: wise up ASAP. It’s a text message thing. You try typing with all thumbs on those tiny buttons. But I’m sure there are people who do latch on to the convention even on a real keyboard, perhaps only to show how “in the loop” they are.

    To those: “I have no response to that.”

  51. 51 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    August 15, 2008 at 20:59

    @ Count Iblis – 15:33

    Interesting theory. I’m going to have a browse through that link if time allows.

  52. 52 jamily5
    August 15, 2008 at 21:11

    The internet’s annonymity makes these “facebook” and other social networks a bit superficial.
    And, at Zuresh:
    you wrote:
    “When I meet someone, I want to be able to google them up, look up their LinkedIn connections and Facebook profiles to see who we know in common, know which
    school/university they went to, even what sports/hobbies they enjoy. This will be fantastic information to have on demand and help connect to even complete
    Ask me, I’ll tell you — no need to look me up.
    I find that quite impersonal, myself.Nothing can take the place of a face-to-face!
    Inflection can not be heard … not even with the best screenreader … … in writing.

  53. 53 Bryan
    August 15, 2008 at 21:26

    Meg in Canada August 15, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve had a couple of personal e-mails from people who use ‘U’ for ‘you’ and ‘r’ for ‘are’ and ‘4’ for ‘for’. I don’t know how to reply to them. I think maybe they wont know what I mean when I write ‘you’ or ‘for’ or ‘are’ in full.

    Colleen August 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Yes, they use it. By the way (BTW) they also use IMHO (In my humble opinion). IMO (In my opinion) it’s all nonsense.

  54. 54 Bryan
    August 15, 2008 at 21:36

    John D. Augustine – WI USA August 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm,

    ‘ASAP’ (As soon as possible) is a lot older than ‘LOL’ and predates the Information Age. I’m sure you could find old war movies with the line, “Get over here soldier, ASAP.”

  55. August 16, 2008 at 00:30

    Who knows if the species is getting dumber or smarter because of or in spite of the internet? In either case all life continues to change and evolve. We may be headed for oblivion. There may be an unnoticed, slow-motion mass extinction going on for a multitude of reasons. And while humans and insects may be the only species increasing in numbers (and therefore in competition for the food supply), humans keep dancing up a storm of self-slaughter. Always preparing for and executing the next war while overlooking what’s really going on… Meanwhile the protection of the “nation-state” becomes the excuse for funneling limited resources into self-destruction. What a mess.

    If humans don’t wake up to this realization then like lemmings, it’s likely to be over-the-cliff for life as we know it, regardless of how “stupid” we may conclude the internet is making us. There seems to be a struggle between eros and thanatos going on. It’s been going on for centuries and maybe longer. Hopefully enough of us will awaken to this and tip the balance in favor of life (eros).

    “Have Guitar/Will Travel”

    ps. wonder what happened to my previous post on this subject…did it not pass muster or was it too nebulous?

  56. 56 Dennis
    August 16, 2008 at 00:53

    i think that the internet has made most of us stupid.

  57. August 16, 2008 at 01:09

    The internet isn’t making us stupid any more than libraries make us stupid. You can check out Aleksander Solzhenitsyn or Stephen King, Madonna or Mozart, read the Wall Street Journal or the National Enquirer. The issue with the internet isn’t whether or not it makes people stupid, but whether or not they possess wisdom to know the difference between fact and fiction.

  58. August 16, 2008 at 02:23

    I take back what I said. I have talked to people over the internet that have made me dumber for it.

  59. August 16, 2008 at 09:03

    My God given brain lets the internet and computers or any means of communication and leisure be known to be stupid.you know all these things are as good as dead without a user.

    play GEMS,not games

  60. 60 DAK
    August 16, 2008 at 18:56

    Some thoughts….

    Internet could be viewed as an online library to lots of things to offer. The advantages are, immense capacity, easy to refer from anywhere in the world and easier to coordinate with others out there without actually traveling. In short gets the world to us.

    Disadvantages are…lot of low quality material is vastly available, the reader has to be extremely careful in the authenticity of the information, could be fooling or trapping, tends to make people addicted, vulnerable people fall prey for it and could be fatal.

    Bottom-line is, do we be at a library forever? How do we use a physical library? If internet could be used as a similar resource by people in a controlled manner, it would indeed be very good tool to have. But, we humans are not masters of self-control and most people fail to have any time management skills. Having said that, internet just makes us work lot more than we humans are physically and mentally configured to work. This kind of over dose results in lesser quality of life, which in-turn does not result in happiness. So, OLD STYLE ALWAYS WINS. Its time tested in quality.

  61. 61 Elementary Teacher
    August 16, 2008 at 22:35

    I am greatly in need of advise. In the next few weeks I will be implementing a computer lab program in a 2nd-3rd grade school in a small midwestern US community. I will have access to Synchroneyes, a program allowing me to demonstrate to the class as well as to observe student work. Students will be using Powerpoint, word processing, Google Earth, and various websites of my choice. I have a lot of creative leeway and feel very intimidated by the responsibility. It is my view that many of today’s students are more computer savvy than many of the teachers. I want the program to be relevant and not just a writing program or playtime (as it often has been in our building before creating this position). So, for those of you who have given this topic some serious consideration, I would appreciate any and all suggestions regarding how to best implement a dynamic, creative, not stupidifying program. HELP!!! I am on my way to school now to close out my old classroom for the new teacher but I will check back later tonight hoping for inspiration. THANKS!

  62. 62 Elementary Teacher
    August 16, 2008 at 22:40

    OK, I mispelled advice and possibly other words. (leeway?) Pitiful isn’t it? Please forgive.

  63. 63 Emile Barre
    August 17, 2008 at 13:08

    No, but disinformation is.

  64. 64 natalie sara
    August 17, 2008 at 18:39

    when the internet was starting to be used, i was in primary school and the teachers were like ‘you guys would never know how we used to go to the library and pry every book for information because everything is on the internet at your convenience!’ and sure enough for every project work we did, it was copy and paste from random websites which of course, taught us very little.

    but some things aren’t found on the internet. the experience of sitting at the table all day, enjoying solitude can never beat the experience of being outside and braving camps in remote places where the teacher says electronic devices are not allowed. i think there should be a question on whether ‘will you die without the net or your handphone?’ some of my friends feel horrible when they forget to bring their phones to school. its like they lost a part of themselves.

    the internet’s not going help me in literature. i’ve to consult books and develop ideas and improve on concepts for myself. websites that do give notes only help to a minimum which equals no standard!

  65. 65 Pearl
    March 10, 2009 at 19:53

    “The truth is that some people are becoming addicted to the cybernet because of its resourcefulness.”

    That pretty much says it all.

    Yes it’s made people stupid and taught them that you should start shouting and arguing at the drop of a hat. Most young people don’t read books, they have no real interests and instead spend hours and hours just aimlessly moving around the net.

    It creeps into peoples lives and makes them dumb. IMHO, LOL, WTF…that’s what’s replaced our rich and deep language and we’re the poorer for it. The net was great when most people frankly couldn’t afford to use it, but as the price of computers and a net connection dropped the internet became swamped with odious plebs who just want to argue and fight all the time.

    You should have to be 18 to be on the internet in the first place and you should have one single username. If you act like a jerk you should be banned. That way it would match the real world where being a stupid aggressive moron has consequences.

  66. 66 Michael, Berlin (Germany)
    October 16, 2009 at 16:09

    The internet does not make us more stupid, but it makes our stupidity more accessible to other people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: