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Analysis of The Book 'The Dumbest Generation' by Mark Bauerlein

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In today’s generation, technology has become a day to day necessity. Most people use some form of technology in their day to day lives. Many people see this technology as a way to expand knowledge, but others, such as social critic and professor Mark Bauerlain, mourn the harmful effects of technology on younger generations. In his book, The Dumbest Generation Bauerlain claims that “those under thirty constitute the dumbest generation in modern history.” This claim is illogical, because it is not people losing intelligence and becoming “dumb,” but the expectations that have changed. What is considered “dumb” or important to know is constantly changing. This generation is not any less intelligent than other generations before, they are just growing up in a different time with different resources available to them.

The word dumb is commonly used in a very negative way. When somebody is referred to as dumb, it usually means they are incapable of doing simple tasks, or answering simple questions. According to the research, Bauerlain states people of this generation have diminishing “intellectual habits” (Source A). This statement is not very true. The people of today’s modern generation are not less intelligent, they are just adjusting to the changing technologies of today’s world. They are using these modern devices to their full purpose and taking full advantage of them. Making things easier should not be considered dumb. IQ scores have been going up since the 1930’s (Source B). IQ tests measure pure thinking capacity, which means even with all the technology, we still have the ability to think on our own, what scientists call fluid intelligence. After all, memorizing random facts will not help you to be successful in the modern world, so it should not be the measure of your intelligence.

Technology has actually done a lot more good than harm to the modern world and society. In the image from the New Yorker cover, it depicts a boy in a library, surrounded by books, but he is on a computer (Source H). The message this conveys is seen as a negative one, about the overuse of technology. But maybe, he is researching for an upcoming assignment. Technology is a resource that makes things much faster, and when used appropriately, does not make a person any less intelligent. Research that, at one time, would have required days can now be done in minutes (Source D). People can search for things that would have taken hours to find in books, with the click of a button. This alone makes people more likely to research things they want to know, making them more intelligent. Making things faster and more efficient does not make people any less intelligent.

Although technology has definitely changed society and this generation, these different ways of thinking should not make this generation inferior to other generations. This new technology is not making the generation less intelligent, but making it stronger and smarter.

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Analysis Of The Book ‘The Dumbest Generation’ By Mark Bauerlein. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
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