Throughout generations, technology has been changing and causing lasting effects on the human mind. As technology advances, many debate as to whether future generations will be less intelligent. While it is true that new technology has rewired our brains and led to shorter attention spans, the Millennial generation is not the “dumbest generation”, as Mark Bauerlein suggests, because the younger generations have higher IQ levels and because we pursue and use knowledge in different ways.
Bauerlein is correct that technology has led to changes in our brains and led to a shorter attention span. Now, teens are not focused on enjoying learning and remembering factual data forever, but rather keeping pace with the competition around them to get into the best college possible. As Bauerlein says, if you “ask this wired and on-the-go high school senior a few intellectual questions and the facade of in-the-know-ness crumbles”(Source 1), showing that young adults have changed their priorities to other things. Millennials do not have facts and statistics memorized as we have, “the advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information is many”(Source 4). Although people can make the case that the use of the internet makes Millennials lazier, it is in our advantage as we are able to quickly bring up anything we want through using Google. With having all this information stored for us on the internet, there is no need to memorize certain useless facts that are needed only to impress others or pass a geography test. R. Smith Simpson, in 1962, went out to prove that many Americans lack geographical knowledge and that “few could even place accurately the principal rivers”(Source 5). Though this seems as if younger Americans are lacking in intelligence, there is just simply no longer a need to store all these bits of information within our heads due to the world wide web. This allows us to relieve our heads of the burden of remembering countless facts, and to remember the more important things in life, such as spectacular moments spent with our families. Although technology has led to shorter attention spans and altered brain functions, this does not make Millennials less intelligent as we have access to a plethora of information through the world wide web at our fingertips.
Nevertheless, this is not the dumbest generation as we have higher IQ levels and an ever growing thinking capacity. As time has been going by, “IQ scores in every country… have been rising since the 1930s”(Source 2). These tests do not measure knowledge but rather thinking capacity, proving that as technology has developed, so has the human mind. The burden of storing multitudes of information in one’s head has been lifted, allowing for the formation of more cognitive thinking skills. The improvement of technology, is “changing how people’s brains process information”(Source 2), showing that though we do not think the same as previous generations, we are not less intelligent because of this. If anything, this change in how brains process information is a step forward for mankind as a point of microevolution and adaptation to the world around us. Many try to argue that videogames and television are factors taking away from our intelligence but infact, these recreational sources, “challenge mental dexterity”(Source 6). By challenging our minds, we give our brains a workout of sorts, helping us strengthen our quick reflexes and improve our brain capacity. Since the generation before the Millennials did not have access to resources to improve their minds like we do, our brains change and gain new thinking capacities allowing us to become more intelligent and practical.
With technology becoming so advanced, we now pursue and use knowledge in different ways. Due to, “its immediacy and breadth of information, the digital world lowers barriers to self-directed learning”(Source 3). This allows us to adapt along with technology and when we truly love a subject we have to ability to learn on it with ease. For example, with the help of my computer, I was able to teach myself the major chords of the guitar and learn a couple of basic songs. Since I was able to access the internet, I was able to pursue an interest and learn how to play the guitar. The amount of things the Millennial group has access to through the internet allows us to follow different pathways and enjoy freedom of learning about a broad width of things. This exploration allows our minds to mature along with the experiences and informations we find. Along with social media and texting comes the assumption of young adults being lazier due to their overuse of these things. The surprising thing is,“young people today write far more than any generation before them”(Source 7). Through using social media and texting as a creative outlet, Millennials are writing far more than older generations did outside of school. This increase of writing allows us to be more adept in adapting our tone after assessing our audience creating a connection with those around us. The change of style in pursuing knowledge, which was brought upon by advancing tech, allows our generation to become more intelligent than previous generations.
Through technology’s advancements, it has led to shorter attention spans and has rewired our brains. Though this is true, the Millennial generation is not “the dumbest generation”, as we have higher IQ levels and pursue and use knowledge in different ways than the generations before us.