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According to the online survey of Web users and experts, more than three-quarters believe the Internet will make people smarter in the next 10 years. Additionally, most respondents thought the Internet would improve reading and writing skills by 2020. The survey was conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University in North Carolina and the Pew Internet and American Life project.

"Three out of four experts said our use of the Internet enhances and augments human intelligence, and two-thirds said use of the Internet has improved reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge," said study co-author Janna Anderson, director of the Imagining the Internet Center.

The survey gathered opinions from scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers, technology developers, and Internet users screened by the authors. Of the 895 people surveyed, 371 were considered experts.

The study was partially prompted by an August 2008 cover story in the Atlantic Monthly entitled Is Google Making Us Stupid? In the story, technology writer Nicholas Carr suggested that the use of the Web was negatively affecting users' capacity for concentration and deep thinking.

Carr also participated in the Elon University study and told the authors he still agreed with the piece. "The price of zipping among lots of bits of information is a loss of depth in our thinking" he said. In the survey, 21% of respondents agreed, believing the Internet could lower the IQs of some who use it a lot.

  •  3vi1
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The Internet made me everthing I am today. So, *survey soundly defeated*.


lol 3vi1, you're not half bad! [:)]

But online universities, wikipedia and numerous blog sites...make everyone smarter and dumber a lot quicker. Misinformation is worse than ignorance.


LOL this survey is so wrong. and i agree with gibbersome as there are lots of misleading facts floating around

PS: Gibbersome your suppose to be uploading and posting new pics stop posting xD


Rofl yeah gibber we need to see that system blazing new ground bro. On the other side I do not believe the internet can inherently make you smarter. As has been pointed out I think the misinformation spreads that considerably. It seems to me that a very large percentage of people read or see something on the net, and then automatically take it as truth. If they were smart enough in general to see something on the net, and then investigate it to find out the actual full truth on the matter it may be true, nut as I said it is not because they read 1 thing and bang it's utter truth.

On the other side of things as a cohesive thing I definitely believe it can make the world at large a smarter place though. This is because it also while spreading much that is not truth, it does though enable anyone who has it the ability to find the real information, and do so rather fast. So it can make you smarter because of this, it is just whether you take what it gives you and use it constructively that can make this true. It also enhances communication abilities as well as the ability to enable people in the same way.

As an example I am a student on the net, and have been so for over a year now minus Christmas breaks. There is no let up in my study, the day following the finishing of a quarter is the start of my next quarter. So it is much more efficient than a brick and mortar school which I have also attended. The study quality and concentration I receive online is also actually much deeper than the study I received at a brick and mortar.

I say these things because much more personal concentration is required on the exact subject of the class. I am graded on everything from times I log in in a week to discussion question's (which in my online university I have to post 6 times a week 3 for each discussion topic, and these have to be coherent responses to the question posed, as well as have a word limit per post), so whereas this is not conducted nor really formally graded in a brick and mortar it is online. I also have more due in a week on general assignments than I ever did in a brick and mortar school.

Just as an example last week in one class I had 3 assignments due in one class and 2 discussions, in the other class I had 6 assignments due. If I miss a single assignment it is deducted from my final grade. So the standard is higher whereas in a regular school it will effect my grade to an extent it takes away from my grade period. Being that I am holding an average above 3 percent and the highest you can go period is 4 period (no a+ on assignments or final grades allowed). There is also no extra credit allowed so it takes a high level of concentration.

Either way all these things do add up to the net making the world a smarter place. However; it does not do so by default, and in many cases has the opposite effect as far as I see it.


I'm sure heavy internet users want to believe that it will make them smarter - but I fear that the opposite is actually the case.

  •  3vi1
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In my opinion "The Internet" doesn't make you any smarter than "The Library" does. If all you read from it are trashy romance novels and Garfield books, you're not going to actually learn anything.

Josafiend's got a point too: In some ways the Internet is like a calculator. You can use it to find answers faster, but the smarter person is usually the one that can reason out a correct solution without it.


Very well put 3vi1, what is up here today, I feel like I am in a ghost town! Anyway the internet is just as you put it a great source for information as well as open communication. But if all you take in is trash your a trash can right, not a genius.


Spending time with and studying any source of information, whether electronic, paper or oral, will generally make you smarter.

I think that the Imagining the Internet Center needed to prove that they deserved continued funding from Elon University and put out a paper.