So rather than transforming us into Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, or Toni Morrison, our smartphones are actually making us more wrapped up in ourselves. In the end, all we are left with is more and more intimacy with our own lives and less and less knowledge of the wider world around us.
And that, I’m afraid, is why smartphones are making us stupid.
You see, technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum, independent of the world; technology is only as good as how we use it. Smartphones could, of course, make us smarter if we use them smartly. But most of us don’t, because we are locked in the minutiae of our own lives. Our culture lends itself to instant gratification, the trivialization of serious subjects, and, above all, what psychologists call “narcissism”—unhealthily excessive interest in oneself. Smartphones are both a cause and a consequence of our selfie-obsessed culture. Unfortunately, they are, indeed, making us dumber and dumber.
Author, The Internet Is Not the Answer