Is Technology Making Us Dumber or Smarter? Essay Example

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In the last half a century, electronic communication devices have been evolving at an ever-increasing rate of speed.  The developed countries have gone from a very crude and basic manual typewriter to an electric typewriter to very simplistic computer models to current sophisticated personal computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets and smart phones.  Secretaries, whose fingers were sore from “pounding” manual typewriter keys, welcomed the changes; but to some, the PC, as it is known today, was too intimidating and they remained behind.  Some caught up later.  However, even with the latter, the ever-changing computer technology demands that users keep current.  Many people are still surprised that one can find almost any information on the computer; but when they discover that,  they cannot envision being without a computer. They have been able to learn how to do mathematics, grammar, various languages and to plan their holidays, virtually view homes for sale and so forth.  Therefore, the thesis of this paper is that “The Computer is Making us Smarter, not Dumber.”

Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the computer is that children and teenagers who did not want to write and to read, now do so continually.  If they, as well as middle-age people and seniors, are concerned about their mediocre spelling skills, computers have had spell check features for sometime now; and if not, all users need to do is to type the desired word into Google and up will come the word correctly spelled.  Computers also let their users know if they have made grammatical errors; such as, for example, ending a sentence with a preposition; and if the users do not know what a preposition is, all they need to do is ask the computer.  Yes, there is also a bit of a negative aspect involved in that e-mailing and texting are usually done hurriedly with the result that grammar and spelling are not what they should be.  Also, texters and some e-mailers have a form of shorthand that is not understandable by those who do not use it.  However, all the time learning is taking place, as it also is when skype is discovered and used.

Also, .now every student will have a laptop because many classes already do not use textbooks and paper.  Students do more and better research using their laptops because, as in days gone by, they do not have to go to the library to check what books exist on a subject, only to find that none of the few holdings are in stock.  The electronic libraries are generously stocked, and the books and journals are always available, as well as various articles on particular subjects.

People can monitor their health intelligently.  If they have been given a particular diagnosis and some medicine, neither of which they understand, there will be several explanatory articles on the internet.  One can also usually find a list of recommended doctors, dentists, and hospitals, and surgery wait lists for various doctors.  One can bank and invest online; and in so doing, people attain a certain investment savvy that they likely would not have otherwise. Shoppers become more savvy because even if they do not buy much on the internet, they can still research their items for variety, price, and the location of the stores that carry them.  The computer itself causes people to become smarter as they deal with computer maintenance and protection against viruses and spyware.  Many people even give up their one-finger typing and take typing lessons; and as a result, gain another very useful skill.

There is no doubt that computers make people who use them smarter, not dumber.

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