In Thomas H. Benton’s articles “On Stupidity” and “On Stupidity, Part 2” from The Chronicle of Higher Education, he claims that although more and more money is spent on education, students entering the college level have diminished verbal skills, an impaired work ethic, an inability to concentrate, and most of all, a lack of knowledge. Benton believes that modern technology, such as the internet and texting, has led the young generation away from the necessary skills and knowledge they need to be successful.
Benton believes that the frequency of multi-tasking distracts our ability to think clearly and reduce our productivity; for example, students like to be on Facebook while they should be finishing online classes or typing papers. Because of this common multi-tasking, Benton believes that students have become less knowledgeable and more unconcerned. He states that simple rather than complex answers appeal to us, and we are becoming more reliant on others to think for us rather than figuring out things ourselves.
He uses an argument from Carr, the author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google (2008). Carr’s argument is that the abundant use of the Internet rewires our brains for skimming, rather than for the crucial concentration required for reading books and writing essays. He then states that this so-called “rewiring” will have the most immediate impact on the rising generation appearing in college classrooms.
Although Benton believes that technology dumbs us down, he is not completely against modern technology. He claims that school teachers and college professors need to work with and adapt to the new technologies rather than merely teaching the old way.
I believe that Benton is right: technology does take away students’ ability to compose their own responses and think for themselves. Every day teachers assign their students novels, poems, and articles to read. Instead of taking the time to do this, they can easily look up the summary of the certain piece of literature and go from what that says. This is a prime example of how the Internet is demolishing our ability to think for ourselves. Instead of reading on our own and finding out information, we can look it up on the Internet and get what we need to...