Is Technology Making Us Dumb?

technology dumbA new report suggests the upcoming boom in GPS devices could ultimately “make us dumb.” It’s a logical argument, except for one oversight: We already are.

I’m not just saying that to be difficult. I mean, the story makes some valid points. As we learn to rely more on technology for tasks, we do get less practice in accomplishing those same results ourselves. My argument is just that the vast majority of people were floundering before the technology was available, so giving them that crutch can only help.

Take, for example, the best “slice of life” you can find — somewhere everyone in society has to visit. Yes, I’m talking about the good ol’ DMV itself. Have you seen the people in there lately? Half of them can’t fill out a simple form to save their lives, and most can’t follow simple directions to complete their transaction in less than seven minutes.

So yeah, spellcheck might get us out of the habit of manually proofreading, and GPS might get us out of the habit of reading maps. But let’s face it: Most of us were failing miserably at those tasks before the technology ever came along. The added support will at least equalize the flunkies with the rest of society, and — as an extra bonus — keep the abled part of the population from having to deal with widespread incompetence.

At least, that’s what my data analysis software told me.