Have Smart Devices Lowered Our Intellect As A Species?

Electricity changed the world by increasing the hours during which work could easily be done by lighting the world. It also enabled labor saving devices to be created that would run on this energy source. Computers were only made possible by it and from that technology came a multitude of smaller and more powerful devices which have become a huge part of modern existence. While many benefits can be derived from the use of such smart devices the question may be asked, have they made us dumber as a species? This essay will look at the ways in which it has.

Calculation and Memorization

Where previous generations were accustomed to doing simple mathematical operations mentally, young people have never had to rely on their own minds for this. They always have calculators on hand in the form of phones, tablets or laptops. These devices are predictable accurate so that accuracy is never fostered in their mental processes. Similarly, phone numbers are no longer memorized because phones record them. That simple act of committing digits to memory is becoming a lost art.

Answering Questions

When people discuss something and require an answer about it, they routinely request them from search engines. This function would once have been conducted through library research. By quickly getting our answers instead of looking for them with a few false starts we become less likely to stumble across other interesting things along the way.

Social Posturing

Because of social media access, many people waste energy trying to appear to be more attractive or popular or wealthy than they are. This will never be returned to them. By becoming accustomed to judging their worth in terms of the views others they become caught up in trivial matters and less likely to think deeply on anything.

Constant Stimulation and Distraction

People waiting in lines or even in the bathroom often feel the need to check their devices to stave off boredom. They do not want to left alone with their own thoughts for any length of time. The problem with this is that many of the best innovations and inventions come from moments of quiet that are free from distraction.

There are definite benefits to smart devices. That is hardly an issue, the problems that come along with them should be carefully weighed so that we gain rather than lose overall from having them in our lives.