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CNET Top 5
Signs tech has made you dumbThink your smartphone has boosted your intelligence? Think again.
[MUSIC] We live in what should be the pinnacle of human intellectual achievement. We have in our pockets, a constantly web of information containing the complete history of human progress and scientific thought. Yet. In spite of our smartphones, and tablets, and our smart TVs, and internet-connected everything, we are turning into morons. I'm Donald Bell and, if you need convincing, here are these top five signs that today's smart tech is turning you into an idiot. Starting off at number five. You GPS everything. Remember when Apple ditched Google maps and everyone freaked out. It's because we can't navigate anymore to save our lives. I recently had someone pull up to me in my hometown and ask for directions and I just lied and I pretended like I was visiting. Addresses, street names, landmarks, they used to all be up here in my brain. But now I just trust that my phone will magically get me there. Bingos for number four, phone numbers. Now I won't lie to you. I was never that great at remembering phone numbers. But they use to stick. In fact, that part of my brain still remembers some of my best friends phone numbers from grade school. But my wife's cell phone number. That she's had for seven years. I still have to look that one up every time. So, if I ever lose my cellphone and I need help, I'm really hoping that Scottie's parents from grade school are still around and they know a good bail bondsman. At number three, the Google brain crutch. You ever catch yourself asking Google questions that should be common knowledge to anyone with a GED. Sometimes, I'm so lazy, I'll even ask Google or Siri for help with basic arithmetic. You'd think that having this information at our fingertips would make us smarter. My kid could ask me who the 17th President of the United States is and, in seconds, I could hit him back with Andrew Johnson. But, if he asked me again, tomorrow, I should remember it. But I don't. There's something about Google's information that passes through my brain like prune juice, I figure since it's always there, why actually take the time to learn anything? Coming in at number two your handwriting. My handwriting peaked at around third grade old scatty and I would spend the afternoon mastering our penmanship and our cursive writing workbooks and then my school got a computer lab and my handwriting has been on a steady decline ever since. Not only that but I will seriously write something down, know I misspelled it, and then wait for an auto correct that never arrives. My best penmanship now looks like a ransom note written by a dyslexic preschooler. But the number one sign that smart tech is making you dumb: your attention span. Can you remember the last time you read something longer than a blog post? What about a movie that wasn't punctuated by explosions every 15 minutes. Is your fear of the zombie apocalypse really just a dread that. Facebook and Twitter won't be around to fill your downtime. Did you even make it to the end of this list. You know what? Forget it. Next time we're doing a top ten on classics of English literature and you'll just have to deal with it. It's for your own good. So there you go. Five signs that the dumbpocalypse is already here. So keep those smart phones charged and if you ever feel that uncomfortable twinge of boredom. Head over to top5.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell, thanks for watching. [MUSIC]