The internet is becoming an extremely important tool for nearly everybody. It is the most recent and progressive media surely to be the “medium” of the future. Yet the debate persists that the internet may or may not benefit the human mind. The web/internet makes the human mind collectively more intelligent. For instance, if a person searches for a topic online, the answer would be immediately available rather than going to the library to find several books and periodicals for information. While a person searches through the internet for data, this research process helps develop areas of the human brain not normally used.
The argument that the internet could lead to the stupidity of the next generation, which it provides all information at the stroke of a keyboard is an unfounded one. As a matter of fact, it has been proven in the past where every time a new invention is created, the fear that the invention will have a negative effect on the generation it is impacting is common. Although some of the negative effects are founded, the positive astoundingly outweighs the negative. This dates back to the Greeks when Socrates pessimistically denounced writing saying that it would wipe out the Greek practice of dialectic. “For this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in minds of those who learn to use it; they will not exercise their memories, but, trusting in external, foreign marks, those who learn to use it; they will not bring things to remembrance from within themselves.” Plato quotes him. Socrates’ prime concern was that people would write everything down instead of trying to remember them and he was right. Although it is true that most people do not utilize more of their brains nowadays, the upside is that when information is too old or large to store in the brain, it can be stored on the web. Along with the advancement of life, education and society came more materials for humans to have to remember. For example, I could never remember readings for classes I took a few semesters ago but when I found out that those readings are part of the requirements for a major class this semester, I dug the articles up from my online storage along with notes that I had written while reading them which refreshed my memory and didn’t require me to re-read the articles. I saved precious time searching for this article and reading the whole thing only to find out that it’s something I’ve read and worked on before. The idea of not having to store too much information mentally is discussed by Clive Thompson, author of “Smarter than you Think.”
Thompson says that Socrates failed to predict the “types of complex thought that would be possible once you no longer needed to mentally store everything you’d encountered.” Thompson also infers that the same would turn out to be true if we were competent enough to digitally store and easily access vast amounts of information and memories outside of our brains. “Does it make us smarter when we can...