How Smartphones are Actually Helping us Become Smarter

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Popular opinion tends to think that the new gadget in your pocket is bringing down your IQ....I tend to disagree.

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Human knowledge is about to get an upheaval. No longer are we going to be required to memorize trivial information for the sake of retention and regurgitation. With everyone walking around with a world of historical facts and data in their pockets, and with Alexa on the ready to help with the things we used to have to ask dear old Dad the answer to, we are freed up to put our time and attention somewhere more useful. We just have to come to a consensus as to what and where to put any newfound headspace to get the best bang for our buck. 

I can remember a not so distant time of life before smartphones, and further still, before computers (personal home computers that is). It almost seems like a Norman Rockwell picturesque time of history where things were simpler and slower, and none were the wiser of the changes to come. It’s pretty neat, i have to say, to have grown up with one foot in the past and the other foot in the new high tech future unfolding before our eyes. Generations henceforth will live in a world of perpetual advancement at astounding speeds and new will be the norm. Back then change was taking place, don’t get me wrong…just not at a breakneck speed we are now accustomed to. 

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According to Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and professor, ……. Emotional intelligence and creativity… Both of these aspects of the human psyche are clear cut game changers when focused on, but, as history has shown us, if left unattended to, can cause a drought in our persona that neither material trinkets or abusing substances like alcohol or drugs can satisfy.

     With the advent of technology, the smartphone in particular, it’s been opined that we are becoming more stupider the better the tech gets. This may have some merit, as the need to memorize items of recall is fast dwindling. Yet, I can’t help but think in a different direction on this. On many occasions, whether in conversation with friends, arguing with a coworker, or just in plain old deep thought, we’ve all come to a crossroads on a fact or idea that stumps the conversation and halts any further meaningful discussion because of one little factoid being disputed by either side. Be it the name of a certain president that was in office, or the year that a certain disaster took place, or the model of the first car with ABS, none of these tidbits would hold any real and meaningful value to a topic being discussed. More important at hand would be where the subject would end up. But alas, more times than I’d like to recall, hangups like these that two parties can’t agree on has derailed some genuine gold.  Had this not been a point of contention, the discussion more than likely would have generated more depth and better understanding of each side than it ultimately did. 

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As far as quiz TV game shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Jeopardy go, it may just become whoever is the fastest Google searcher gets the prize money.

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