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Is Smart Technology making us Dumb?

(Finding Common Ground)
Over the last two decades, this has been a concurring topic and conflict. Many authors and journalist have had much to say about whether technology has made us “smarter or dumber” over the years.
The first article is written by John Elder Robison, a man who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome (type of autism). After reading only the first paragraph of his articleit is evidentthat his opinion was based on past experiences he encountered growing up as a child.
Further along in his article, Robison made it clear right away that he was taught to learn the “old- fashioned way,” by reading books all day long. He continued to refer back to how much his parents and their friends knew. As a result he became persistent on learning as much as he possibly could. He gained much of his knowledge by befriending people who knew much about the thongs he wanted to learn about.
In paragraph six of his article he said “Any fool with a Blackberry or an IPhone can look up life’s answers at the drop of a hat,” and when he said this I could immediately tell that he was not very fond of technology or even the thought of being able to depend on sources like Google or Wikipedia for the answers to life’s problems.

Robison refers to navigation as a perfect example, of why it’s important not to rely on technology. In paragraph ten of his articlehe says “Many motorists can’t make sense of a basic road mapThey are lost if their machine loses touch with the satellites.” Earlier in thisparagraph he explains how his whole life he used maps to find his way around. Robison refers to people who depend on technology to make it in everyday as “slaves to machines” reiterating that this intellectual laziness makes them less smart. Robison makes it clear that he believes that technology has mainly affected our young people today.

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Robison concludes is article explaining why he thinks technology makes us “less smart” Although he used limited to no evidence from studies or research, he clearly show that he is a firm believer that the use of technology has made our population, but more closely our youth, dumber and less intellectually engaged over the last two decades.

The second article is written Kaitlyn Wells, a woman who writes in the Family and Parenting news blog on a site called Techlicious. After reading her first paragraph, it appeared that her thoughts and opinion on this subject were neutral.

Wells immediatelystarts toelaborate onher opinionbased onresearch and studies. She states that “Pew Research Center reports that nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, with 19percent relying on their smartphone for accessing information and staying connected to the world around them.” While continuing to read her article, Wells begins to talk about how smart technology shrinks the brain.
In paragraph six of her article she says that “In 2010, McGill University researchers determined that the people who rely on GPS navigation had les activity in the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory and navigation.” Moreover, McGill researcher, a neuroscientist, Veronique Bohbot believes that “GPS should only be used to find a new destination.” Bohbot also said that “it is best to turn off GPS on the way back and use yourmemory and spatial skills in order to preserve and possibly improve hippocampal function”, according to

Wells continues her article with more research and studies to furtherinform the reader on how technologynegatively affects the brain and impacts our cognitive abilities. In paragraph nine, she talks about how the average American attention span has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. That is shorter than that of a gold fish whose attention span is nine seconds!
Herarticlecontinuesonto show that King’s College London University researchers also found out in recent studies that employees who multitasked while working had a ten-point decline in their


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