Are people stupider today than 40 years ago?

Australia
January 19, 2008 12:51am CST
It does amaze me to see... that while people have a vast amount of information at their finger tips... thanks to the internet... and a vast choice of technology... which they seem to have little problems to learn how to cope with it... at the same time... they have not bother to learn the simple basics of survival. I complained on various forums in the last four years about pedestrians jumping from the footpath on pedestrian crossings with a total disregard for on-coming traffic. Someone must have listened to me... lol To my great surprise... on my return to Sydney last month... every pedestrian crossing now has written on the road in bid white letters... LOOK... with an arrow... so that the dummies know where to look. What is the world coming to? I am positively certain that if the western world was hit by a major catastrophie... half of its people would not have the basic skills to survive.
5 people like this
20 responses
@zenmachado (1619)
• United States
19 Jan 08
I think that people are more ignorant now a days. They have the ability to reach the information, but they are dumb in choosing not to seek out that useful information.
2 people like this
• Canada
19 Jan 08
I agree with that...knowledge is power...but the real power comes within the application of the knowledge. Without that what is there? Raia
1 person likes this
@dta_kitty (192)
• India
19 Jan 08
In many ways it does look like what u have mentioned.Earlier people used to know how things work and will be able to fix things on their own.Nowadays people have become totally dependent on the things they buy and possess.Some people have no idea what to do with them if they have even a minor problem.They need some expert to fix it.In this world of INSTANT coffee,food,information etc.People don't seem to think as much as the older generations.One group of the world is fast advancing with innovative ideas where the other side are mere consumers who have no clue of how those came into being.Ignorance has become so prevalent.Machines seem to think more than people do.
1 person likes this
• Australia
19 Jan 08
Very nicely put... could not agree more. I was amaze last week when a friend of mine did not know how to use the remote control of her DVD player. She has been using a DVD player for over 10 years and the only two buttons she use is "play" and "stop". She does not know how to navigate a menu with the arrows.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 08
No I don't think they are but I do think they are lazier. The have so many modern day conveniences that they never had to learn even the basics. Examples started with the the lowly electronic calculator to the use of computers to do homework.
1 person likes this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
20 Jan 08
I agree with you about the catastrophe part. Even the kid in 4H and some of the other clubs that used to teach important life lessons have turned into social clubs in many areas. Not all but many. Some of the states that are heavy into farming still have survival skills, but the urban and city areas sure don't. Kids today are raised by the TV and video games. They do not read books. They read the synopsis of the book so they never have a good enough vocabulary to really read a deep book. They may play some sports but that is not the same as getting out there and doing some rustic camping and hiking where you have to work at it. Most kids cannot read a map. That is proven by the fact that they do so poorly in geography. They don't go out in canoes and kayaks. Instead they have jetskis that GO FAST! It is just sad...
• India
19 Jan 08
its a bit difficult to explain how an individual would react under different circumstances..we believe there is an ideal response but then everything in this world is not ideal and then we say it is not acceptable..its not that people have become more stupid..its just that we have started expecting a lot from everyone..
• India
19 Jan 08
No I don't think so that the people today are stupid than people 40 years ago.I believe that the people nowadays want to do something different.They want that everyone should see them different from others.This is known as X FACTOR.Thats the reason they do some crazy acts so that they are be known by others.BUt the exceptions are always there - many times mishap takes place and people have to pay for their acts.
• Canada
19 Jan 08
Oh boy...do I see where you are coming from on this one...and I agree with your observations! Have you seen the movie Idiocracy? It is a rather unnerving parody on how those who cannot afford to properly educate their children are having the largest families...and therefore society is 'dumbing' down. It is a little raw in places...but the message is at times disturbing...but also funny. David and I continually ponder the stupidity of people...who continually know better but do keep making the same silly mistakes over and over without stopping to think ahead and consider the consequences. Duh!!!! Raia
• Cambodia
25 Jan 08
Information is not Knowledge or Know-How. Technology is not Science either. People live n the illusion they "know" but they don't know much.
• Australia
25 Jan 08
That's another very good point. Going by what we see on the forums... amongst all the people who use a computer... 70% of them don't know the first thing about computers.
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
24 Jan 08
The point of my answer, was that people are not stupider, they are lazier! Too much technology....too much money! I really don't think many persons could survive if there was a major disaster. People today are not self reliant & independent. Most people I know are more conversant in "technology skills" than "life skills."
• Australia
24 Jan 08
I will agree with you that they are not stupider... in the sense that they choose to learn different things. However... they are stupid in the sense that they choose to learn the wrong things. Survival skills should always be number one. What's more important? Crossing the road without being hit by a car... Or knowing all about the latest computer on the market?
@agfarm (930)
• United States
22 Jan 08
Dear Aussies....to my amazement ....I'm 38....the younger generation is dumber then ME !!!???? I graduated one of the single worst ranked high Schools in Ohio , where you got an " A " just for Showing up. And people are still dumber then Me. Our biggest enemy in all areas of life....is our Complacency ! UGH !!!!! The world is Falling apart ( on so many levels ) And so few people are stepping up to the plate , when we all should !!! You hit it right on the head !!!! But for some people paying attention ( ie...myself ) our messages are deliberately suppressed. WHY ???!!! It's almost as if stupidity is encouraged!!!
• Australia
22 Jan 08
It is not so much about stupidity being encouraged... as it is about encouraging people to ignore their stupidity. The world economy of today demands than everyone focus on making money... and nothing else. 1 - Because you need a lot of money to survive in this world full of gadgets... that you absolutely need... lol 2 - Because the more money you make... the more you are going to spend. And that is great for the economy... but even more so for those top one per cent of businessmen who are raking profits every year by the billions. Nobody wants you to stop making money... because if you do... you might start thinking "Hey! This is stupid!"
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
21 Jan 08
Good discussion idea! I do not believe people are "stupider," I think people are less challenged in survival skills. Technology does everything for one today. Case it point;make bread, my bread machine does it, tie my shoes; why, theres Velcro. Fix my plumbing---why theres a plumber! Fix my car--why there's a mechanic. When I grew up, you became a "jack of all trades" for survival! Today, as the middle & upper class increase, it is not necessary to learn basics, as you can always hire some-one. I also feel with today's huge urban population, and less "country" lifestyles (as farms disappear) the lore & knowledge is not passed on. People do not have to research (real research) anymore, just go on the "net." We have been trained not to rely on our own resources, and or retain what we have learned, it's always on the net. Anything I learned as basic skills are now hobbies. Knitting, Hunting, Fishing, Gardening, Cooking,Building...now hobbies, were once basic survival skills.
• Australia
21 Jan 08
You make some very good points... The question is... Is this a good thing? Getting someone to do it all for you is fine as long as you can afford to pay for it. Most people don't have that much money... and even if you do... you are working to pay some tradesmen. Computer skills are great... but if you don't have the basic skills to pick up a screwdriver to open the box and replace a video card... I am afraid that you are not very smart. Being smart is not about making money like a robot using the skills you have to do one thing really well 365 days a year. Being smart is about being able to do a multitude of things in order to save money. Being self-sufficient without money is being smart. You have no idea the number of women who have told me over the years "My husband is very good at making money... but he cannot put a nail in the wall to hang a picture." That is sad...
• Janesville, Wisconsin
13 Aug 10
I think more ignorant... They could be wiser and smart with information available at their finger tips but many have grown lazy and do not exercise their minds and bodies, and are not willing to try to learn new things as often as they can... So their brain muscle grows flabby and starts to rot..
@moondan (714)
• China
9 Mar 08
I don't think that nowdays'people are absolutely stuider than 40 years ago.with the quicken pace of development,there are ture that people learn more knowledge and know more things.but the survive ability's falling is also ture.Now people depend on more things.More and more people even could not cook food for themselvesThey can order food from restaurant or dining-room.more and more people have not clean their clothes.they only put them in washer.Cleaning house or doing something that basic ability for us to live is hard for some youth.From this point nowday's people are stupider but they can do something more than 40 years ago.such as they could operate fluently modern machines.
@johndur (3049)
• Pasig, Philippines
29 Jan 08
it is really true...the new generation now has all the knowledge yet they dont now how to use it.they know almost everything because they where spoonfed by the technology and they dont even bother to make an effort to make a research on their own without the aid of technology.if this technology would dissapear in an instant a lot of people would die because they dont know what it is like to live in the real world where you have to live with your instincts and skills.
• India
22 Jan 08
It appears, some of the pedestrians do not follow road rules; they don't have patience and secondly due to laziness, they avoid walking a distance to reach the point ment for crossing. This trend grows when the enforcing authorities ignore to curb this practice. When such thing continues every one started violating the road rules. The controlling authorities should be on alert. The citizen should realise their responsipilities. The govt and voluntary organisations should educate the people.
• United States
21 Jan 08
People are much more pre-occupied than they were 40 years ago. I think that has affected alot of prople's judgement. Please walk around with a bluetooth attached to their head like it's an original body part. So, I don't think people are dumber than they were 40 years ago, they are just using their mental capabilities in other ways.
• United States
21 Jan 08
I see young people who work in retail and can't make change, I know so many people that don't have a library card. PeoPle who drive like they are the only ones on the planet. But what I really find sad is the complete lack of curiousity. WHenever I look at something I am wondering how it was made, what is it for, etc etc. I read about old processes for doing things. how things were done before electricity. So many people, not only don't know what something does or how it works, They don't even care. Without curiousity, what's left?
• United States
20 Jan 08
I dont think we are more stupid, but more lazy and unaware of whats surrounding us. We should be smarter and keep going that way but yes alot of ppl just are to lazy or dont care about there surroundings to understand somethings. which makes them look dumb LOL. I also think that we are into technology to much to relize our nature surroundings and thats why we have some problems with nature today. I dont know we are smarter in some ways and dumber in others
• United States
19 Jan 08
I used to think 75% idoits 25% brains Had nto change it 95%/5% They are gettig dumber than a rock. I am afraid that this is as good as it gets.Your estimate is much lower than mine.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
19 Jan 08
If people were worried about survival, they would spend more time thinking about it. Therefore they are not worried about it. Its my belief that people (unconsciously) are not at all worried about losing their physical lives. They know (unconsciously) that they are immortal. Reincarnation is a proven fact, and has been for quite some time. It can be proven by Hypnotherapy, as well as the many instances where young children have remembered provable facts from previous incarnations. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone knows (on a unconscious level) that this is true, and therefore the answer to your question is: No, People are not stupider than they were 40 years ago.