General Question

mirifique's avatar

Do you think personal use of the internet (i.e., surfing) generally increases or decreases one's intelligence?

Asked by mirifique (1537points) April 21st, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

depends on what you look up…

I like to read science news, I can’t imagine that makes me more stupid.

but if you’re a huge fan slapstick humor, and look that up all day, I can’t imagine that jacking up your SATs

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

as with anything, that depends on the content, context and what you do with what you learn

oratio's avatar

It gives you the opportunity to discover, learn and communicate. If you learn and what you learn is another question of judgement I guess. Maybe it’s semantics, but I feel that is about getting smarter.

I think you can train your intelligence to a certain degree, but I don’t think the internet use would be responsible for either way.

augustlan's avatar

Overall, I’d think it would increase your knowledge, but not necessarily your intelligence. I think of intelligence as an inherent trait, and knowledge as something to be gained.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If anything, it strengthens some areas and weakens others. Overall, I think it’s a wash.
It’s a set up over TV though.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’d have an opinion on this if I hadn’t destroyed my super intelligence with illicit drugs years ago. Nowadays I have to share the brain with a friend of mine, very generous of them.

Bluefreedom's avatar

When I’m online, I surf over to Wikipedia on many occasions so I would attribute that to increasing my knowledge (as @augustlan sagely pointed out as a possibility) on several different things. As far as encountering intelligence while surfing the web, I can come to Fluther and expect to see that in the esteemed company that share their great answers and opinions.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, your intelligence is determined at birth, and it cannot be increased, but it can be decreased through damage. The internet can give people more information they didn’t have before, or keep them from gaining more information, but there is no + or – in intelligence.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

it’s all about how you use it, and how you balance your time.
i imagine that fluther isn’t making any of us stupider, so it’s a good thing fluther is my biggest time drain on the internet.
playing blockles on, however, is probably not making me any more intelligent…

p.s. you probably shouldn’t click on that link if you enjoy not dreaming about tetris games

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@augustlan stole my answer. While I think your inherent intelligence can fluctuate a few points based on the exercises you put your mind through.. it is, for the most part, knowledge that you gain.. not intelligence.

LostInParadise's avatar

Worldwide IQ scores have been increasing and the reason usually given is that it is due to the increasing complexity of life. I would say that learning how to traverse the Internet as well as information gained probably contribute to the increase in intelligence.

wundayatta's avatar

Define intelligence. Then tell me what measures intelligence. They I’ll tell you what the Internet does.

However, I will point out that there are many internet libraries, not to mention many other information sources available through the internet, making it a tool to find information and answers to questions faster than ever before. For children, this can be very helpful. They might ask you what the habits of bats are, and you can come down off your roof where you have been bat watching, and look it up while he is still interested in it. If you had to go to the library, you’d both probably forget the question.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

compared to television, its a no brainer. Of course, it helps to keep a healthy dose of skepticism at hand. Too many people suffer from the assumption that just because they read it on the Internet, it must be true. My email inbox is proof of that. My favorite rule of the Internet is this one:

No matter what your opinion on any given subject, there is someone, somewhere, who will take the exact opposite stance and call you an idiot for believing any different.

I’d love to call it my rule, and name it after myself, but honestly, I think someone else probably came up with it before me.

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