Well, on our Faculty of Ed Ning, the question was posed; Is the internet making us smarter or dumber? Followed up by two articles, each offering opposing views... here are the links:
Does the Internet Make You Dumber? by N. Carr
Does the Internet Make You Smarter? by C. Shirky
After reading both, I've come up with the following response:
Wow... well, I "read" both articles to see what points were brought forth. Does the internet make you dumber? brought forth several good points and had a handful of experiments/tests that were completed to reinforce the point. The, Does the internet make you smarter? article was more full of oppinionated points. And honestly, I got pretty confused/bored by this article and did a really half-a**ed job completing it.
I can't really say that I agree with either. I don't think people are any smarter or dumber due to the internet. Sure the internet has brought an entire world of knowledge into our homes, but do people know how to use it correctly? Do they know how to determine what is the truth and what is some bored individual throwing a bunch of gibberish together? Sure the internet has brought forth a mountain of distractions, but wasn't the same said of TV when it was invented?
People always had to determine how much information came out of a text book is actually true (Haeckel's embryos, Thomsons "plum pudding" molecular model, etc.). People are always going to have distractions around (radio, TV, etc.). The bottom line is it comes down to the individual. You can't blame the internet for making them dumb. You can't thank the internet for making them a genius. You made yourself the way you are.
(Then there's the whole genetics vs. upbringing argument I just won't get into)