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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is Predictive Texting Making Kids Dumber?

Ok, first of all, I just have to say that I love the visual that went along with this article - I had to bring it over to share.

The linked article above looks at a correlative study in which the use of predictive text messaging is linked to a high rate of speed in completing tests and a high rate of errors on the same tests in a group of Australian students.

The researchers determined that the subjects who used their phones more frequently, especially for predictive texting (the services that automatically complete words), finished tests sooner than other subjects, but with more incorrect answers. Researcher and epidemiology professor Michael Abramson told ABC Science that predictive texting is "training kids to be fast but inaccurate." He went on to explain, "If you're used to... entering a couple of letters and getting the word you want, you expect [the world] to be like that."
So, what does this have to do with PowerPoint in preaching? Well, I have heard similar claims about the projection of Scripture, that it makes people too stupid to use their bibles. Or that when we project images of our examples that it prevents people from using their own imaginations (therefore making them dumber).


These are some odd connections to draw. What is even worse is the illogical assumption that there is a causative effect in these situations. What we are seeing is a correlation between data. I do think that we need to be careful and thoughtful in the ways we use technology - we are affected by the things we do and the ways in which we do them. But technology is not the cause in most of these cases. Technology is amoral not immoral. If you have a problem, look to the person using the technology.

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