Willingham – Smartphones don’t make us dumb

Daniel T. Willingham, (@DTWillingham) author of books that I have not yet read (yet), has an interesting opinion piece in the NYT (here).  He writes in answer to those fears that we all have that ubiquitous internet, social media and videos about cats falling off televisions are somehow making us less intelligent.  I have certainly felt this myself (as recent blog posts attest).  Willingham suggests that the phones are not making us dumb, but that the ability to call up entertainment instantly and perpetually might be restricting the amount of time that we our thoughts are directed inwardly.  Whilst this might have some benefits, especially if we are prone to over-rumination, we might be losing out on valuable reflection, on boredom and on the creativity that these states bring.

I have certainly noticed a tendency in myself to be always listening. If I’m cooking, ironing, cleaning, whatever, I’m listening to a podcast, or to a radio drama. Willingham claims that our use of internet technologies has not cut down on our reading of fiction, but it certainly has with me.   Anyway, more fuel for the argument that we should be self-regulating the amount of time we spend online. Also, must read some Daniel T. Willingham.  (Via http://theeconomyofmeaning.com).

No Comments

Leave a Reply