Are you smarter than your smart phone?

If there is one thing I am most thankful for from technology, it is the smart phone. I don’t know who first called it “smart” but I’ll give it to them, that was really smart of them. I mean the help that a 4-6 inch screen connected to the biggest information hub in the world (the internet) can lend is amazing. No wonder we are not allowed to take them into the examination room!

Who goes to the library any more, who buys books, who isn’t on facebook or whatsapp, twitter, snapchat… (Actually, I still use the library and I have bought a few books but you get the point). We have all this information in our hands, at the tap of a screen, anywhere, any time, at the cost of an internet connection. But guess what, we are as dumb as dirt!

There is this counter productive trait of human nature and that is taking things for granted. Everyone seems to be about taking the internet to the desert and making it free but that doesn’t seem to make us any smarter than our grand parents, only lazier and actually dumber. See, because we know we can always get whatever information we need when we need/ want it, we just sit back and wait for that time. Even if it is during ward rounds or worse still, during an exam!

This is the misconception, that because you have it on your smart phone, you are smart! But whatever you have quick access to is just that, easily accessible. That doesn’t make it perceived, processed, understood and applicable in real life situations where it matters most.

Except for the case of Solomon, there is no shortcut to becoming wise but rather, wisdom is acquired from taking in information, processing that information and applying it in real life situations; then you gain experience and the lessons learned from that experience become wisdom to you. All that takes time and a tremendous amount of effort, not just a tap at a screen of a smart phone no matter how smart or fancy that phone may be.

So, quick question, “Are you smarter than your smart phone?” Well, that depends: Is being smart all about repeating what you received verbatim with no consideration for how it fits into real life situations? In that case, your smart phone is a thousand times smarter than you. But if smartness is about how well we apply what we know to solve problems in the real world then I’d say it’s debatable who is smarter than the other, you or your smart phone.

This is my biased and never humble opinion: every once in a while, ditch your smart phone and take time to learn the hard way – old school. It’s not that hard actually, just take out a pen and notebook every now and then and jot down what you learned from the internet. Thereafter, don’t lose those notes; go over them and try to see how you can apply these lessons to better your life and the lives of those around you.

Featured image: photo from pexels

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