The Internet Will

Most of the respondents also said the Internet would improve reading and writing by 2020

from – The Internet Will Make You Smarter

I saw the headline, and read the article, and really, I laughed out loud.  That’s sort of a big deal for me, because it’s kind of a running joke between my husband, my friend Sherri, and myself, that I rarely laugh out loud.  I’ll shake, silently.  I don’t like my laugh but there are moments when I just can’t hold it back and I bust out in guffaws.  So when I tell you I laughed out loud, that’s a big deal.  :)  And that article made me laugh.  Out loud.

I saw the “improve reading and writing” line and the thought that went through my head was this: “R U 4realz?”  I’ve seen what’s been happening to reading and writing since the Internet came around and it’s not improvement.  Both Darc and I have spent a lot of time bemoaning the state of language today, and as a writer, Darc laments the closings of bookstores as much as I as a reader do.  I’ve seen how the LOLcats are changing our language – not that I’m not guilty of contributing in my own way – and I’ve seen l33tspeak, and the myriad ways in which our reading, writing, and speaking, are being dumbed down by the Internet.  No one wants to take the time to write “too” anymore so they’ll just write “2”.  So many people don’t understand the differences between to, too, and two.  Or they’re, there, and their.  Or heck, even sometimes you, ewe, and U.  Do they know what the difference is between your and you’re?  If the Internet is supposed to make us smarter, how come we seem so much more stupid, as a whole, than before?  The things I learned about language I learned as a little kid, way back in the day before there were such things as home computers and common Internet.  Before the “Information Superhighway,”  which, IMO, (see what I mean?) has just as much disinformation as it does information.

So I categorically disagree.  The Internet will not make us smarter.  It’s school and a good education that makes us smarter.  Things like reading, writing, arithmetic and learning good critical thinking skills.  The Internet can facilitate those things, but usually doesn’t.  LOLcats, you know.  😉


Categories: In The News, Rant, Thinking out loud | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “The Internet Will

  1. I LOL’d at your reminder of the silent shaking. Serious lolz.

    As far as the article goes, I can see what they’re saying. The intelligence we acquire via the Internet is utilitarian, shifting away from the meditative. Honestly, I think that’s a bad thing. Although we may end up with more surface skills, wisdom is already in short supply.

    Wisdom is indeed already in short supply. It makes me sad all the misinformation that’s out there. It was supposed to be a way to “bring information to the masses,” but in lots of ways it’s sort of like a gossip chain now, spreading things almost faster than people can say them.


  2. steve

    I think good old fashioned reading, and reading as much as possible is the best way to strengthen one’s vocabulary and proper use of words. It seems that alot of people use a form of ‘texting’ in written communication, as a kind of short-cut. But that’s just my humble opinion.

    You know, I can’t do the “texting” thing. It’s like I end up doing this translation thing in my head, and then I just get all messed up. Easier for me to just type “to” than “2” and translate. I think of texting as the long-cut. 😉


  3. Ugh. Funny, but also sad.

    True – there’s a bittersweet quality to it, that’s for sure.


  4. KnytStalker

    We got snow!!!!!

    LOL If I’d known you wanted snow, sweetie, I could have sent you TONS of it! 😉

    Have fun playing and stay warm! Love you! *hugs*


  5. I love that picture it is so cute. I agree the english language is dying.

    It’s sure doing something! I know it’s evolving, much like it always has over the centuries since it’s been around. But now it feels almost like a de-evolution of sorts.


  6. kreestee

    Wut iz wrong w/the Internet & the Eng. lang? I have no prob. w/it. CU l8r.

    Ugh. I feel so dirty even having to think that way. My friends make fun of me because I text with proper grammar and punctuation. I firmly believe that the Internet is making people stupid. Ask a random sampling of middle schoolers how to navigate through the card catalogue and you will most assuredly get a blank look.

    I have a cartoon on my door at the office that lampoons Facebook through Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary. It has the 1969 Big Bird saying “F is for Friend.” The 2009 Big Bird says, “F is for Facebook Friend.” The comment I wrote on it in red marker is, “This is the dumbing down of America.”

    Thanks for hitting on a topic so near and dear to my heart 🙂

    I text that way too hon, so don’t feel like you’re alone in the crowd anymore! It takes me too long to do it the wrong way anyway.

    Sesame Street is funny. Cracked me up how when they released their anniversary edition shows from the 60’s and 70’s, they put a disclaimer on them that said, “not suitable for children.” *shaking head*


  7. whatigotsofar

    internet make smart??? yeah, me smart now

    You’re probably all tired from your flight. I hope you have an awesome time! And yay, your hotel has wi-fi! Woo! 😀


    • whatigotsofar

      has a wired connection too, that’s what i’m using, more reliable that way, faster too

      Sounds like a nice place. 🙂


  8. I agree that the internet is making us dumber as a whole.

    Back in my day, we had to learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide before we could use a calculator. It was a tool to make things faster, not a means to an end.

    We also had to take typing class. Not keyboarding, typing, where you learned to type without looking at the keyboard and you didn’t have a backspace key to hide your errors.

    If we couldn’t spell a word, we had to look it up in a dictionary. There wasn’t spell check to lazy your way through or worse, using 2, ur, cuz, b4, and the like to spell words.

    Lolcats is creative. I don’t think it is responsible for dumbing down much of anything. We all know animals can’t talk or spell, so lolcats was a creative, funny way to get the message across.

    I still nag my children about spellling and grammar. I don’t know if it helps, but they don’t look like complete dumba$$es like some of their friends on facebook.

    EXACTLY! My 1st job we couldn’t even use the “change” function on the register – we had to figure it out in our heads. Same thing here with typing. We weren’t allowed to take short cuts and “cheats,” like calculators and things like that. We had to know, and that meant learning. You and I are from the same generation, and I think we just barely made the cut, you know? Feels like so many people behind us basically have little clue what we’re talking about. It makes me sad.


  9. You could take a look at this:

    Like any tool, the internet can be used well or badly. Some people though the printing press was a disaster for the masses. Some people will use the internet to reinforce their own ideas, stay in the factions, insult, hide, cheat, spread misinformation (or willingly accept misinformation if it suits their p.o.v). Other folks will use the internet to learn new things, meet new people, explore new ideas, challenge themselves, and find outlets for creativity and dissent where it wasn’t allowed before.

    Just imagine–one day in the future the internet will seem antiquated!

    Antiquated! LOL Hopefully we have a long way to go until that! I’m not quite ready for the Vulcan mind-meld! 😉

    Interesting article there. The medium definitely has an impact on the way we impart what’s in our heads. After reading it, I felt thankful that my ability to read doesn’t seem to be impacted like what the author talked about. I loves me some books. It’s reading things for extended periods of time on the computer that seem to bother my eyes the most.


  10. I read an article that said the same thing that kids will be better readers and smarter because of video games and the internet.
    I did not know what to make of it…
    Do I let The girl’s eyeballs fall out on her cheeks because she has been on line for 96 hours straight and chalk it up to learning or do I pull the plug and moon those that tell me it’s all good?
    I don’t know I’m soooooooooooooooooo confused!

    I saw something much like that a few years ago. Improves coordination! Or something.

    Ask yourself this – how would she look with her eyeballs on her cheeks? If you like the look, let her stay online. If not, then pull the plug. 😉


  11. Amen! I totally agree.

    Or should that be ITA?


    Hi Claire!

    LOL at the ITA! We all net-speak now! 😀


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