The question over whether technology is making us less creative or smarter has become an ongoing debate, with studies spouting evidence in each direction. Some people argue that smartphones are addictive and distracting, reducing our concentration levels. Others believe they have created a culture of instant gratification and made us lazy thinkers.
We think technology is actually making us smarter, here’s why…
INTELLIGENCE LEVELS HAVE RISEN
Scientists have noted a gradual rise in intelligence – dubbed the Flynn effect – since around 1930. This phenomenon has been contributed to improvements made in education, healthcare and nutrition.
A recent study published in the journal Intelligence also found a correlation between increased cognitive function and the use of technology.
Through a series of tests, it measured the intelligence of 50 people in 2006, and then repeated the same study six years later with people of the same age. They found that the participants in the 2012 study scored higher than their counterparts in the earlier group. Researchers attributed this rise in intelligence to increased use of technology.
A WHOLE WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE IS AT OUR FINGERTIPS
We now have a library of information at our disposal. But what effect has this had on our ability to store and memorise knowledge?
Some argue that we don’t commit data to memory in the same way we used to. It’s certainly true that the internet has transformed the way we handle and store information – if the internet knows everything, and answers are a mere click away, there’s less need for us to store information in our own memories.
Whether this is a good or bad thing is up for debate. You could argue it’s made us lazier, but we think it’s probably made us smarter in a lot of ways.
For a start, the ability to create well-formed, accurate questions for Google, then quickly identify and extract the specific information we need to help us, is surely a sign of intelligence in itself.
The internet also saves us a lot of time. In pre-technology days, if we wanted to learn about a subject, we had to go to the library. The whole process was time-consuming, and by today’s standards, very tedious. Now, we can access all the answers we need in a matter of seconds, and without moving! This quicker process surely frees up a lot of time for more learning or other activities.
LEARNING IS MORE FUN WITH TECHNOLOGY
Who really enjoys skimming through a dusty old textbook as a way to learn? We rarely retain information about things we don’t find interesting. We forget lots of information given to us at school because of dull and uninspired methods of teaching. How many of us revised for school exams, cramming information into our heads ready to regurgitate, only to forget everything after the exam?
The internet has introduced way more fun mediums from which we can learn. From games, to podcasts, to new technologies like virtual reality – these are all more engaging than a textbook, increasing the likelihood of us actually learning.
Maybe the increasing usage of technology is why exam results are climbing around the world, or why a greater proportion of people possess higher education qualifications than ever before.
If we are getting smarter, as studies suggest, then we shouldn’t ignore the correlation between that and our more frequent use of technology. With the many advantages to learning technology brings, we run several bootcamps around creativity and coding to help boost children’s digital skills from an early age. These include activities such as learning how to programme a spherical robot, as well as creating their own music and film trailers.
Why not embrace the benefits of technology and upgrade to the latest Apple tech? We stock a wide range of Apple products, from the 6th Generation iPad 9.7 to the iPhone X. Drop into our store at 63 Deansgate to find out more.
"If we are getting smarter, as studies suggest, then we shouldn't ignore the correlation between that and our more frequent use of technology."
Chris Costello, Sync Store
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