Are Smart Phones Making us Dumber?

Before the "Smart" Phone

A phone (but not a "smart" phone)
A phone (but not a "smart" phone) | Source

A Tool or a Crutch?

I have a friend who is a police officer. The stories he can tell about stupid things drivers do and say almost make me afraid to use the public roads. Recently, he pulled over a young woman who was talking on one phone while texting on another phone while trying to drive! This non-rocket scientist is on the road while you and I are trying to get to work or get our kids home in one piece. Don't tell me how technology is making kids smarter.

While I know real estate professionals who use smart phones as tools, I also know many teens who use such devices as crutches. Why should they learn where things are located in the grocery store when mom is just a text message away? Why make their own decisions when they can instantly ask for opinions from a dozen of their equally-ignorant friends? Why learn which way is north when you can just blindly listen to a GPS app (which is not infallible, young person!)

I fear that the "smart" phone has prevented young people from learning valuable life skills such as: planning ahead (not minutes ahead, but days ahead,) remembering things, picking up nonverbal cues from face-to-face conversation, and paying attention to tasks such as driving.

Texting: Worse than Drinking!!!!!!

How Technology Changes Culture

The "smart" phone has also contributed to the following:

  • flash mobs: sometimes harmless fun, sometimes gang fights
  • cyber bullying: kids are no longer tied to the family computer
  • sexting: no redeeming value to this at all
  • and, of course, countless car wrecks and near misses.

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Comments 2 comments

Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 23 months ago from Boise, Idaho

I agree with you on some counts, but I am reminded that my children use their smart phones in ways that I find innovative.

My daughter in particular is a master planner and relies on many apps on her phone to help her be a better student and a better tutor. She takes advantage of technology and is a good example of its benefits and how to incorporate it into daily living.

Are there downsides? Yes. But plenty of non cell phone using drivers speed, don't use turn signals, menace, endanger and even kill other drivers. And no one would say that cars have made us dumber.

It's all in how we use technology.

While I can't agree with you wholly I like how you presented the piece. You made me think. I like that. :)


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 23 months ago from North Carolina, USA Author

As a person with an engineering degree, I certainly don't disdain technology. On the other hand, the same technology that enables one to efficiently look up scholarly journal articles also enables one to waste hours looking at cute pictures of cats. So, the technology does not make people smart or dumb--it only enables them to be more of whichever they already are. Just my two cents.

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