Today’s generation is supposed to be the smartest of all generations, at least that’s what they’ll say when you ask them. But I’m not so sure.
This declaration is made mostly because technology gives us devices like the smart phone. Smart phones allow us to access the internet and literally have the answer to any given question in a matter of seconds. But is this really helping us be smarter?
A recent poll by Independent found the average person gets away with forgetting at least 5 things a day, because we feel we no longer need to remember them (technology does that for us). And at least a third of us feel we don’t have to remember ANYTHING anymore. So, are we really getting smarter if our memory is getting weaker?
The top five things the poll shows we forget are:
- Other peoples phone numbers
- How to spell even basic words
- How to write legibly
- How to do basic math
Remembering our own phone number just missed the top 5 coming in at 6th place. And at least 14% of people admit they don’t even know their own phone number.
Other things people admit to forgetting are birthdays, names, directions, and even television show times.
To me this seems like a dangerous trend. What happens when the internet goes down. You don’t even know your own phone number, your bank number, or even your home address? When you’re not using your memory, like anything else, it will start to fade. Have you heard the phrase, “Use it, or lose it”?
I guess I like the old days when a cashier could actually give you change back from a dollar without a machine telling them how to do it. When people remembered your birthday and sent out a card (hand written and snail-mailed, no impersonal email) because they cared enough to put thought into it. Not because “Alexa” or Facebook reminded them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my smart phone as much as the next guy. I love the convenience of information at my fingertips just like the rest of the world. I just feel there might need to be a few things we still commit to memory. Basic reading, writing and arithmetic seem like very good skills to have in your memory. And who doesn’t love getting a birthday card in a stamped envelope delivered to your house, rather than an e-card in your computer inbox? Or how great is it to get a hand written thank-you note in the mail from a friend, or a thinking of you note?
So… are we smarter now, because of technology? I’m not so sure.