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August, 2009:

What Technology is Making You Stupid?

You most likely have heard of the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr. I have used his article to start a discussion about technology. Nicholas relates that he “power scans” articles on the web and tends to read the first few paragraphs and the conclusion. Also, he sometimes follows a link and ends up on a much different topic. I think there is a lot of truth in the article. When I read the newspaper online I tend to read less of an articles and also I read fewer articles.

After I read his article I started to think about other technologies. I really think that my GPS is making me stupid. The GPS is a great tool and I love how it helps me travel without getting lost. Since I travel a lot by myself, I don’t have to read the map as I drive. The GPS gets me where I need to go. As my son says, “Trust the machine!”

However, when I used a map I had a better idea of my location in relationship to other cities, states, and area within the city. When I follow my GPS on the three inch screen, I arrive at my location without know North or South or what section of the city I am staying. My GPS limits my geographical knowledge. I don’t learn as much as about the geography of the area I am visiting as I did when I used a map.

What other technologies are making me stupid? I’m not sure. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. What about you? What technology is making you stupid?

Jim