Print 32 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Feb 24 at 10:30 PM

New report shows that heavy internet use could lead to smarter web surfers

The internet has a myriad of sources of educational information and other things that people can use to learn and improve themselves. This is one of the core reasons that the Obama administration is pushing for more broadband access across the country.

new survey of 895 web users and experts have found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed believe the internet will make users smarter in the next decade. Those that responded to the survey also believe that by 2020 the internet will improve reading and writing of Americans. The study [PDF] in question was conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University in North Carolina and the Pen Internet and American Life Project.

Study co-author Janna Anderson said, "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."

However, 21% of those who responded to the survey felt that the internet would result in the lowering of IQs in those that use surf heavily. The survey polled opinions from scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers, and tech developers along with internet users screened directly by the study authors. The team who conducted the study polled 895 people of which 371 were considered experts. What qualified the "experts" as experts is unspecified.

The survey also claims that 42% of the experts polled believe that online activity conducted anonymously would be "sharply curtailed" by 2020. The experts believed that tighter security and identification systems would cause the reduction in anonymous users. On the other side, 55% of those polled believe that it would be easy to surf the internet anonymously in the next decade.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Misleading title
By ussfletcher on 2/22/2010 11:40:41 AM , Rating: 5
It seems this has nothing to do with a report, and there are really no facts here. This is an opinion as derived from a survey.
Perhaps the title should be, "Survey says teh intarwebs will make you smarter!"

RE: Misleading title
By amanojaku on 2/22/2010 11:47:31 AM , Rating: 3
How about this? :-D
New report shows that heavy internet use could leader to smarter web surfers

RE: Misleading title
By Mitch101 on 2/22/2010 12:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
Next you'll claim running World of Warcraft raids wont get me a job in Management and that recruiters dont care about my WOW raid co-ordination. ;)

RE: Misleading title
By Iaiken on 2/22/2010 5:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Trying to get 24 other people together to do what you want with no pay, lots of pain and very little gain is probably one of the hardest jobs there is...

RE: Misleading title
By Boze on 2/22/2010 9:10:21 PM , Rating: 1
Its sad that people don't realize this, but I've been running a top level WOW guild for 5 years now, and there have been so many times I've been ready to hang it all up.

Managing around 33 different personalities, constantly solving interpersonal problems, managing conflict, motivating people to do their best, and not only do I not get paid, I end up paying for our guild's website and Ventrilo server. So not only am I not being paid, I'm actually paying for what is sometimes a tremendous headache.

I've also talked with a lot of other WOW guild leaders, and it seems like a lot of us read books on leadership and people management; you have to really, if you expect to keep your guild strong for the long-term.

RE: Misleading title
By Omega215D on 2/22/2010 10:46:26 PM , Rating: 3
I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T.

RE: Misleading title
By Omega215D on 2/22/2010 10:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Misleading title
By quiksilvr on 2/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: Misleading title
By Hieyeck on 2/22/2010 11:54:29 AM , Rating: 3
Clearly DT writers are part of the 21%

RE: Misleading title
By jonmcc33 on 2/22/2010 12:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Very true. Although there is online encyclopedias (WikiPedia), online dictionaries and even online college classes...just reading the internet won't make you smarter. In fact, it might have the opposite effect.

My ex-wife thought she was a doctor because of She would read symptoms that she had and automatically diagnose herself with the worst possible cause. I am surprised that she is still alive with all the viruses, diseases and disorders that she has managed to come up with. Bottom line: WebMD makes crazy people both dumber and crazier.

RE: Misleading title
By inighthawki on 2/22/2010 12:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
But what you describe is a common problem (psychosomatic illness,) and has nothing to do with the website making her dumber. Give her a medical dictionary and I'm sure you will get the same or very similar outcome. It is all a matter of interpretation. If you understand what you're reading, you're bound to learn something, otherwise you risk being misinformed.

RE: Misleading title
By Spivonious on 2/22/2010 12:54:50 PM , Rating: 3
there are online encyclopedias (WikiPedia), online dictionaries and even online college classes...


Youtube is proof
By corduroygt on 2/22/2010 11:43:02 AM , Rating: 5
Youtube video comments prove that obviously the smartest of the human race use the internet.

RE: Youtube is proof
By jvillaro on 2/22/2010 11:52:46 AM , Rating: 2
And about half of the comments here or anywhere else for that matter. Specially when flame wars start or the fan boys let us know of there intelligence.

RE: Youtube is proof
By BloodSquirrel on 2/22/2010 12:15:50 PM , Rating: 4
And about half of the comments here or anywhere else for that matter. Specially when flame wars start or the fan boys let us know of there intelligence.

RE: Youtube is proof
By jvillaro on 2/22/2010 12:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, after I posted I saw that it was misspelled.
Sorry, English is not my 1st language and sometimes I make mistakes.
If I could edit a post (and I know thats why they have a preview) I would've fixed it.

RE: Youtube is proof
By jajig on 2/22/2010 12:59:25 PM , Rating: 3
You're doing better than most native English speakers. You spelled "would've" which is correct, many forum posts I read spell "would of".

RE: Youtube is proof
By Motoman on 2/22/2010 2:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes - far too many Americans' grammar skills essentially make every statement they type amount to this:


RE: Youtube is proof
By inighthawki on 2/22/2010 3:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
While I think there are a few things that are completely unacceptable to not know like the difference between to/too/two and there/their/they're, grammar isn't exactly the most important thing in the world, and it certainly doesn't always show a person's true intelligence. If this were a job interview, I wouldn't have a problem with drilling a person's grammatical skills, but these are just crappy little comments on a random tech website, and I'm sure not many people take longer than 10 seconds to type up what they want to say, let alone spell check it.

RE: Youtube is proof
By Motoman on 2/22/2010 11:32:01 PM , Rating: 4
What you type on a website like this is the totality of what others see of you as your communication skills.

If what you type looks like it was pounded out by a retarded 2nd-grader who recently got a brain transplant from a turnip, then people are going to presume that you're a retarded 2nd-grader who recently got a brain transplant from a turnip. And rightly so. You want people to take you seriously? Learn how to speak, read, and write correctly. Otherwise, if you can't be bothered to communicate properly, I can't be bothered to pay attention to you.

RE: Youtube is proof
By mindless1 on 2/24/2010 10:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, no it is not. GET A CLUE. Right now, I've a few drinks under my belt, I'm not being paid nor trying to get a job, and while on the 'net, dealing with asshats 40% of the time who frankly are not worth even 10 second replies.

If you write up every reply like you think the world depends on your grand answer on the comment section of a news website, frankly I feel you must be an idiot.

Know the difference between leisure recreational conversation and important things in life (and stop being so anal).

RE: Youtube is proof
By Omega215D on 2/22/2010 10:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
Me fail english? That's umpossible.

+1 for the choice of picture!
By jbwhite99 on 2/22/2010 12:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, Al Gore wasn't smart enough to figure out how to win a presidential election!

No offense, but I've never even heard of that group at Elon College - I just hope they polled more than Burlington residents (no offense to Burlington) - this county is largely rural, sandwiched between Durham and Greensboro, NC

RE: +1 for the choice of picture!
By BloodSquirrel on 2/22/2010 12:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that is Algore, huh? The years have not been kind to him at all.

He's gone from being the "alpha male" to the "alpha whale".

By chagrinnin on 2/22/2010 5:28:22 PM , Rating: 3
A. He's demonstrating "facepalm" post-stroke.

B. He's showing a room full of people where global warming starts to effect him personally.

C. He's demonstrating how he applies "Just For Men - Natural Ash Brown".

D. He's tellin' that story again about where the idea came from to start teh interwebz.

E. He's demonstrating how he covers a sneeze so as not to spread the flu by means of handshaking. :P

RE: +1 for the choice of picture!
By MadMan007 on 2/22/2010 6:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nah it's more like his lawyers weren't smart enough to figure out how to win an election.

I don't know.......
By Caminokidd on 2/22/2010 5:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
I would tend to disagree with this; people may have more information at their finger tips and know how to access it but that doe not make them smarter. To me it seems that in general the over all IQ levels and common sense are at a decline since the answer is always..."I don't know let me look it up on the Web", take the internet away and you’ll see how smart some of these people really are.

RE: I don't know.......
By MadMan007 on 2/22/2010 6:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. 'Information,' espeically without context, is not 'knowledge' nor is it 'intelligence.' If it were then encyclopedias would be very knowledgable and intelligent but they are really just lots of facts. It saddens me when the cautionary tales of yesterday are actually played out in their negative sense, in this case the 'factoid' replacing knowledge and intelligence a la Farenheit 451.

I personally think
By eetnoyer on 2/22/2010 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 3
that the internet is merely a catalyst for development of whatever personality traits an individual already expresses.

It will help smart people get smarter.
It will help stupid people dumberer. (Yes that's intentional)
It will help pron hounds get.....well, you know.

browsing habits
By knowom on 2/22/2010 12:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's fairly obvious that it completely depends on the users browsing habits how it will effect them intellectually.

By Suntan on 2/22/2010 12:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
And if you would have asked me a priori about the outcome of this survey, I would have said that there is a 99% chance that a couple of entities calling themselves the “Imagining the Internet Center” and the “Pen Internet and American Life Project” would devise a survey that would return the results they wanted to see.

Interestingly enough, a quick scan of the PDF uncovered a couple of choice sentences:

…Many of the respondents are Internet veterans – 50% have been using the Internet since 1992 or earlier, with 11 percent actively involved online since 1982 or earlier…


…The answers these respondents gave to the questions are given in two columns. The first column covers the answers of 371 longtime experts who have regularly participated in these surveys. The second column covers the answers of all the respondents, including the 524 who were recruited by other experts or by their association with the Pew Internet Project…

Nothing like cherry picking the people you expect to give you the answers you want to hear, eh?


By johnsonx on 2/22/2010 3:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
This 'report' is way off (note that nothing was actually studied, they just got a bunch of opinions).
If you want a plausible insight into the nature of an internet 'smartened' world, watch the movie "Idiocracy".

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki