Are we the dumbest generation?
According to sources I've read, there's a good chance that we might be the dumbest generation. At least in my experience, there's a good chance this is true. With recent news of people actually eating Tide Pods due to memes on Twitter, you can see how this could be true. Due to a few factors, the generation of the internet could be the dumbest generation yet.
An article named "Is Google Making Us Stupid" by Nicholas Carr, he talks about how people don't need to put in any effort to find information because of Google and other search engines. Many people don't feel a need to actually learn things because all the information you need is just a few keys and clicks away. With Google, there's no need to actually read deeply into anything. With Google, when a student is assigned a novel to read, instead of actually reading it, they can rely on SparkNotes to get a general understanding of it — no effort required.
Another article titled "The Dumbest Generation" is written by Mark Bauerlein. He discusses how even though our generation has the most access to education, the gain in knowledge doesn't show. The internet might provide us with lightning fast access to any information, but most teens use it for socializing and fun. A whopping 56 percent of 18-29 year olds were found to have low knowledge levels. But only 22 percent of 50-64 year olds have these low knowledge levels. I'd like to see the data of 30-49 year olds, but this doesn't look good for my age group. With all this technology, teenagers are constantly distracted by mostly useless information about what their friends did over winter break or a game on their phone. If you ask them a question about the latest Snapchat update they can likely tell you, but ask them about American history and they're likely to fall short.
A study called "Your Brain On Video Games" by Steven Johnson refutes the idea that technology and media is all bad for your brain by presenting ways that video games can be good for your brain. He talks about how gamers have to pick up clues and detect patterns to complete a game. Through the write-up and reading of walkthroughs, extensive discussion on the internet, and occasionally complex thinking, a lot of deep thinking can go into completing a game. One walkthrough of "Grand Theft Auto III" is 53,000 words long and is written by some random person on the internet. Although I can agree that video games can sometimes be good for you in this aspect, many people spend too much time distracted by it. Many gamers blow off schoolwork to play.
Overall, I can see why we could be considered the dumbest generation. We are constantly connected to the most massive database of all time: the internet, which most teens take for granted. Many teens believe almost anything on the internet, which has led to the rise of "fake news." If teens better harnessed the true power of the internet, maybe this could change but I don't see it happening any time soon.
Tate Ericson is a junior at Wilsonville High School.