Will the Internet Make Us Smarter and More Social?

Some people really seem to think that it will do all these things.  I have my doubts as you may have guessed.  Kenneth Goldsmith at the Univeraity of Pennsylvania proposes that it really will make us smarter and more social.  How does he know?  He is the father of a 10-year-old and a 17-year old and they seem to be doing fine.  He surmises that we just find news ways to express things?  So all these new ways are judged to be just as effective, if not better, than the more traditional ways we have always employed.

Now he is a father and a college professor.  I am a grandfather and a former college professor (and a retired federal bureaucrat).  I just don’t see students becoming intrinsically smarter because they use the Internet, and I am very concerned that they may becoming less social in the process.  Please believe me that I know the Internet is one of the most powerful learning tools we now have.  But I believe, unlike Professor Goldsmith, that “basic human qualities” may have been changed by the Internet, and that we have to be aware of its impact in our daily lives, and keep in touch with our growth as compassionate human beings.

I hope that I am not being too sanctimonious in saying all this, but our lives still require some reflection or analysis 0f what and why we are doing what we do.  I just don’t think we can find all those answers on the Internet.

Ray Myers

P.S.
Last week a new book was published on Amazon as well as other online book publishing formats. I authored one of the essays in this book: “Changed During the Sixties.” The book’s title is “Turning Points: Discovering Meaning and Passion in Turbulent Times.” I hope you will enjoy reading these essays about personal and professional transitions made during this time.

P.P.S.

During the remainder of August, I will only be posting commentary on Mondays.  I will be “resting” on Labor Day, but will resume my posts on a regular M-W-F basis on September 12.

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