Are smartphones making people dumber (or at least less self-reliant)?

Asked by: PhantomZyrus
  • Particularly in English skills.

    The rapid decline in English language skills started with texting, but has truly increased with the advent of smart phones. Now it isn't just the written word that suffers, but the ability to communicate directly as well. Every time I go to a restaurant I see tables full of people glued to their phones, not speaking. Smartphone apps have increased the reliance on technology for any knowledge; few people actually feel the need to LEARN a topic anymore, they just google it. I can see the decline in my students in intelligence, critical thinking ability, and their ability to function in the working world.

  • People were smarter before they came out.

    I can't adequately support my stance because I'm not really sure what made people dumber over time. The only thing I can think of is smartphones. At some point, the average IQ in the US fell from 100 to 98 and I have a feeling it's only going to go down from there. Smartphones have things like Maps and flashlights and many other apps that make people less self-reliant.

  • They absolutely are!!

    Ever since "smart" phones came out, people have become, less self-reliant, dumber, and anti-social. People who have those phones, rely on them for almost everything, because, "there's an app for that"
    and its true, there is an app for almost anything! So people don't have to do things them selves, they just go to their phones type something in and their problem is solved. Also, people are much more anti-social, all they do is communicate through, Facebook, or instagram or twitter, and their smartphones make it easier for them to do that. No one has to have face to face interaction with anyone because of these phones. No one knows how to talk to people when they actually get into a face to face interaction because they have their face in the phone all day. Can smartphones be of some use:? Yes, but not much.

  • Texting Is Destroying Grammar!

    Texting has become the new thing everyone loves to do[ excluding the people who do NOT want their IQ to drop]. Texting has become a virus in the young part of society, kids that text are more likely to make a mistake spelling something at school because of the absolutely incorrect way they spell when texting. I am 13, and although some people may be shocked by reading this, I hate texting. Texting to me is horrible because I try to respect grammar as much as possible, I cannot stand it when people write a "u" instead of "you". Is it really that much of an exhausting effort to type three simple letters. Texting IS making people dumber.

  • Less human ROM!!!

    People need to exercise certain areas of their minds in order to keep sharp - these devices jump several key areas of the thinking process most importantly maths (this problem has been around since the birth of the calculator) and more recently spell checks etc.....The more devices channel away from brain training the worse

  • I agree, but not with making people 'dumber'

    Phones are not making people 'Dumber' however they are neiter educating them. Phones seem to do a lot more now than they did back then, and most people are quite reliant on them. Where would a common 21st age teenager be without his/hers phone? My example exactly. Alarms are not on phones, and with Apple taking the world by storm and bringing out endless apps people do not need common devies anymore. I also think that SatNav's are going to go out of buisness, as new smartphones now have the same technology that these navigation systems have.

  • Technology empowers us, It can't make someone dumber.

    Ok sure, as we progress technologically we make the trade off of dependence vs efficiency. A person today doesn't need to rely on the sun, they have GPS. The don't need to know how to make light or keep track of the time, they have an electronic multi-tool relevant to the current cultural paradigm. If we all washed our clothes by hands, prepared and cultivated our own food, built and maintained all in our personal lives we wouldn’t achieve much past survival, the reason humanity has progressed is because it has constantly reduced the need for individual dependence through social efficiencies.

    We are evolving, as we always have, the old never likes the new. As technologies like the smartphone push us towards real time communication it is only natural that the frequency and even intimacy of the interactions become more transparent. As a result the medium (i.E face-to-face, written or spoken language) the information is carried on will adapt and evolve. We can communicate anywhere at anytime, we don’t have to wait for the weekend to interact with a friend, wait for a letter, we can share with millions in a moment.
    I like this TED if anyone is interested.
    - John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!!

  • Smartphones are not making people dumber (or at least less self-reliant).

    Smart phones are not making people dumber (or at least less self-reliant). However, the more we rely on technology instead of common sense, it could seem that way. I rely heavily sometimes on technology and spell check is always great. I think if we use them right, then they could improve the intelligence of individuals.

  • Smartphones are not the source

    Although it's easy to blame smartphones for the failing intellect of the younger generations, smartphones are being used as scapegoats. If a child is raised properly they will appreciate proper English (or whichever language they use) as proof is with Skeptikitten. It comes down to whether or not if someone has been taught to learn or taught to take an easy path.

    Also being able to pull information up instantly allows people to focus on what requires their attention rather then wasting valuable time. Specializing is important to the human race because it allows use to advance further and further along. We can't learn everything, but we can focus in a field and rely on each other to share the information we have. Thus improving society's overall intelligence.

  • Yes, but not as much as some people think.

    I personally have improved my knowledge of history big time just reading my phone, say, waiting in line or sitting on the toilet. And, may I reinforce the fact that this is information that I recall and do NOT need my phone to repeat. It's no different than me sitting down reading an encyclopedia (which I used to do when I was younger).

    At the same time, especially for some people, phones can make things easier and thus the learning curve can be reduced. But I truly think that making things easier, like looking up the best restaurant in town or Shazaming a song you don't know, has wild potential to make people much smarter. You learn something about the town, or the name of the artist, or the date Lincoln was shot, the only difference is that people in the modern age are learning through a screen.

    Take the screen away and we might be lost. But with it, We are more intelligent, though, more reliant on it.

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AnonyFeline says2013-08-15T02:58:20.110
Any tool can be used to one's betterment or detriment, or for the betterment or detriment of the community/society. It is all dependent on the intention of the user, or in the case of those underage, their parents.

Self reliance can be deceiving. Is it more self reliant to use a map or a map app? A compass or an app? A computer/browser or an app? An encyclopedia/dictionary or an app?

It all depends on the intentions and goals if the end user.