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  #26    
Old February 6th, 2014, 07:55 PM
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I don't think that our generation actually has a lower IQ or capability for intelligence than any previous generation. Technology actually gives us the ability to learn more than we ever could before. The actual problem with today's generation is that they are more close-minded and don't care about intelligence or learning. While I definitely don't think everyone is like this, it is a fairly large percentage that is. The problem isn't the presence of technology, but rather the way in which society has decided to use it.
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  #27    
Old February 6th, 2014, 08:19 PM
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You pretty much hit the nail on the head right there. I am one of the few people I know my age that actually reads a book to enjoy it. Most kids nowadays only read books because they have to. But can you really blame them? The education system destroys the concept of reading. Rather than it being something you can enjoy, they force reading to be a chore. Either by being at page x on a certain day, or having to remember a bunch of stupid facts that aren't particularly important. Or being told that there is only one way to feel about a book, or only one less to draw from the story.

I believe a large part of being intelligent lies in the desire to actually know stuff. Modern society stigmatizes knowing things, for whatever odd reason.

EDIT: @Mareeep: There has been a relative drop in the IQ of many people... in the Western World anyway. I don't feel like getting the research, but I will if you really think its that important. That aside, IQ has never really been a measure of intelligence, making it's name quite a misnomer. It gauges merely one facet of the many different things that intelligence is comprised of. Not to mention, there are many other factors that actually get in the way of testing IQ in most methods. For example, on a typical IQ quiz for lets say a verbal portion, it typically has to do with spelling. And most anyone can concede that spelling has little to do with intelligence.
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  #28    
Old February 6th, 2014, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ANARCHit3cht View Post
EDIT: @Mareeep: There has been a relative drop in the IQ of many people... in the Western World anyway. I don't feel like getting the research, but I will if you really think its that important. That aside, IQ has never really been a measure of intelligence, making it's name quite a misnomer. It gauges merely one facet of the many different things that intelligence is comprised of. Not to mention, there are many other factors that actually get in the way of testing IQ in most methods. For example, on a typical IQ quiz for lets say a verbal portion, it typically has to do with spelling. And most anyone can concede that spelling has little to do with intelligence.
You're right, I probably shouldn't have used IQ as an example, as there are more factors than just intelligence, such as personality type and specific skills, that go into getting a high IQ score. However, I was referring to a more widespread change in IQ, that over say a hundred years, than that from generation to generation. An article by the American Psychological Association states, "Over the past 100 years, Americans' mean IQ has been on a slow but steady climb. Between 1900 and 2012, it rose nearly 30 points, which means that the average person of 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 percent of the population had in 1900." I would link the article, but I haven't made enough posts to do that yet. This does not necessarily reflect a change in intelligence, as you stated, because there is more than just intelligence in the Intelligence Quotient, such as personality, and if an INTP and an EFSJ of equal intelligence were to take an IQ test, the INTP would score higher. Thank you for replying, and intelligently. I always enjoy being able to have an intelligent discussion with someone.
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  #29    
Old February 7th, 2014, 12:50 AM
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Hmm, interesting topic, but I think it's all subjective. Almost like comparing apples to oranges. It's like that age old comparison... "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." I think that's Albert Einstein. Sure there's a lot of text speak but since when is that unintelligent? It's just different. I agree it can get annoying, and yeah people should put more effort in to just write the full word... but it's easier and more convenient for many, so many people are going to do it. It's just a fact of our language evolving. It's just changing. Whether it's for the better or for the worse is opinion-based.
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Originally Posted by ANARCHit3cht View Post
You pretty much hit the nail on the head right there. I am one of the few people I know my age that actually reads a book to enjoy it. Most kids nowadays only read books because they have to. But can you really blame them? The education system destroys the concept of reading. Rather than it being something you can enjoy, they force reading to be a chore. Either by being at page x on a certain day, or having to remember a bunch of stupid facts that aren't particularly important. Or being told that there is only one way to feel about a book, or only one less to draw from the story.
I agree, there are also restrictions like this that unfortunately get in the way of progressing. Growing up I had to participate in a program called AR (Accelerated Reading), and it was absolutely awful. Each book was ranked to a certain difficulty, and every time you finished a book you had to take a test on it. Getting a good score brought your grade up, bad score brought it down. (more difficult books affected your grade more) Some kids were just naturally way into the Harry Potter series and just read those and took the tests and got good grades, therefore had skyrocketing grades. But for me, I found it more difficult to read books that large at that age, let alone take tests on them... and the smaller books just didn't bring your grade up enough. Not only that, teachers would scold me for choosing a book so "easy". I'd feel so pressured and worry so much about getting a perfect score, I'd bomb the tests, and as a result my grade plummeted and I quickly never ever wanted to read again. It's a shame.

In high school it was just repeated with having to read a certain amount of pages each night and I just better hope I get a good grade on the test for it.

(For the record, nowadays I actually really enjoy reading for fun!)

But anyway, back on topic, I just see our generation as different. Some things may be questionable or undesirable to many, but we are progressing in many ways as well, and I'm excited to see what direction we go (also sometimes just a little afraid... haha) [:
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  #30    
Old February 25th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Unfortunately, I agree.
Why it must be "YOLO####" Instead of "You only live once"? Because of the one second difference while saying it? Oy Vey Zmir... [Yiddish]
I HATE IT.
Plus, it makes some idiotic trends like crapping with an open door, taking a picture of it and write down "YOLO## LOL"... Sheer stupidity.

So yea, the world is getting dumber.
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  #31    
Old February 25th, 2014, 05:38 AM
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Don't you think it just depends on the era? We live in revolutionary times, where technological advance is seen as most important. The course of history has changed since the more technological world started, and now the media are openly accessible. I just think modern day people do not know how to handle the Internet yet, with facebook and twitter: they just want to be cool (yes, this is an awful generalisation but I hope you understand me). The world as we know it is new, and has not been here ever before. The confused teen generation nowadays therefore starts acting in a so-called "stupid" way.
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  #32    
Old February 25th, 2014, 05:49 AM
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Your teacher is just going on a rant of "Back in my day...". Less vocabulary since the cavemen ages? Yeah, sure. I'm pretty sure that people back in year 400-500, where the closest thing to school was "priests teaching noble kids" and "priests teaching other priests" helped people have a rich and awesome vocabulary. By the middle ages, only priests and kings/lords knew Latin anymore, because people all over Europe had bastardized it into dozens of languages- because they hadn't been taught how to write/read for centuries. Damn, most people never ever saw a book in their entire lives. I'm sure they had more vocabulary than us, right? I'm pretty sure factory workers from the Victorian Age (who were the majority of the population, by the way) had time to read and keep phylosophical debates. I'm pretty sure the American slaves and the West pioneers had an extremely rich language.

Your teacher is just saying "when I was your age, we read a lot, at least when we weren't playing on the street or watching TV which uh was what we were doing most of the time BUT ANYWAYS you new generations are terrible in comparison to my nostalgia-filtered memories".

I will agree that texting lenguage is terrible in any way, but as long as it's kept for that and people still know how and when you should write normally, I don't think it's bad.
I'm a little late to tell you this, but actually, my teacher is 24. She's fresh out of college and is in our same generation.
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  #33    
Old February 25th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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Although a few people here have already said what I would have anyway, I'll just put in my two cents.

The world isn't getting dumber, this generation is just... different. Also, the idea that we have the smallest vocabulary since caveman times is a ridiculous accusation. Honestly, I cannot agree with anyone who says this, because when you look at it, we just abbreviate things more, we know the words, we just try simplifying them.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I agree.
Why it must be "YOLO####" Instead of "You only live once"? Because of the one second difference while saying it? Oy Vey Zmir... [Yiddish]
I HATE IT.
Plus, it makes some idiotic trends like crapping with an open door, taking a picture of it and write down "YOLO## LOL"... Sheer stupidity.
Again, with YOLO, people are just shortening it, although I myself don't see the reason. Now, as for that last part... that's not the ENTIRE GENERATION, that's just some kids online thinking they're cool and making themselves look like absolute fools. There are a ton of stupid trends out there, but we don't have to follow them. Hence, I disagree, because many in this generation are smart, not all are, but we're not getting any dumber, just... adapting to technology in a way.

Look at people doing all this YOLO stuff, most of them are on a phone, it's darn hard to write on a phone (for me, anyway). Thus, they simplify the typing to shorten the amount of time needed to write and lower the effort needed. Not dumber, just... simpler.

Every time I post in these topics I wonder if I I said what I meant to. XD
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  #34    
Old February 25th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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I hate broad statements like this because it implies that everyone bar a select few are part of a "stupid trend". In reality, society as a whole, regardless of the generation, is full of really stupid people. Look at all the people who are older who argue that tradition is why we should ban gay marriage. Stupidity exists in every generation and it manifests itself in a way that is applicable to issues that are relevant to that generation.
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  #35    
Old February 25th, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Then perhaps the "stupidity" we see in society addressed by this discussion is just a clash of generations - the older generations criticizes us for laziness and poor vocabulary while we criticize the older generations for uncritical social views. I guess the context in which one opinion is dominant shows which generation is being taken more seriously: the OP of this thread assumes the position of the older generations, while daigonite's post comes from a more contemporary perspective.

Most of us will be on the other side of the clash in about thirty years time
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  #36    
Old February 25th, 2014, 07:34 PM
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I know a lot of people who act intelligent by using complex words when writing on forums, but can't say half the ♥♥♥♥ in real life. Or, at least, when I'm having a private conversation with them on the net.

The thing is, you can still be intelligent without having an extended vocabulary. Because there are people who try to fool others into thinking they're smart by using words they don't even know the meaning of. (We all know that it's not gonna end in their favor)
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  #37    
Old February 26th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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I know a lot of people who act intelligent by using complex words when writing on forums, but can't say half the ♥♥♥♥ in real life. Or, at least, when I'm having a private conversation with them on the net.

The thing is, you can still be intelligent without having an extended vocabulary. Because there are people who try to fool others into thinking they're smart by using words they don't even know the meaning of. (We all know that it's not gonna end in their favor)
I agree with your stance that the vocabulary of an individual should not be the sole measurement used to determine whether someone is intelligent or not. Often times my parents jokingly ask, "Who, between your sister and you, is smarter?" Instead of giving them a straight answer, I always answer with telling that there are different kinds of "smart." Though I may not have a mind capable of being a doctor, learning about the workings of the body, I consider myself intelligent in other fields like technology and what-not. People have different talents, interests and those could potentially influence where their intelligence comes from. On the basis of vocabulary size, that only defines an individual's literary comprehension in the field of reading. What about those who aren't particularly good at English, but are brilliant in mathematics? You cannot simply judge a person's intelligence based on their vocabulary.
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  #38    
Old February 27th, 2014, 05:42 AM
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I think our generation is just continuing the trend of compartmentalizing and specializing knowledge. With the Internet, there really isn't any reason to become a jack of all trades and be great at social science, hard science and mathematics all at the same time (which sadly is demanded by current primary and secondary school curricula.) But yes, in today's hypercapitalist and globalized world, we're more pressured to hone our comparative advantages and use them. So it might seem that some people are "stupid" but you are using a form of measurement that is not accurately gauging what they are actually trained at. Does a Natural scientist need to be throughly fluent and know every word in the English language to express themselves? Does a sociologist or Policy maker need to know the complex equations that govern the natural laws of the universe? See it's all relative to the needs of the person to funtion in everyday life.
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  #39    
Old February 28th, 2014, 12:07 AM
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I think the Opening poster's teacher is simply looking back at the "glory days". Every era someone does it, Plato did it, and one day we will probably do it too. There were several people who were illiterate in the past hundred years who knew lesser words than we do, or about the same. It's difficult to prove this statement as sources of spoken language are scarce unlike with written language (which at a time were written by mostly monks, or scribes rather than the common everyday men and women).
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  #40    
Old February 28th, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Our generation is certainly different than the last, but while we're tech obsessed, and maybe occasionally lazy with school work, we're also more educated and open about matters involving equality and rights than they are. Some of us are understanding of issues that they would turn up their noses at, and not even attempt to debate. What some of us can do with computers would make them have heart attacks. Their generation had its share of people that were "stupid" as well, if that's what you wanna call it. You never hear of the uneducated because they never made a name for themselves, you only hear of the success.
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  #41    
Old February 28th, 2014, 02:31 AM
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All of this is highly circumstantial.

Intelligence is relative. What I call intelligent you might call the opposite.

Take the vocabulary argument. Instead of looking at how many words a child or young adult knows, how about we look at the words themselves? Language is an ever evolving thing, just like society. It grows with us. Will our grandmother know what a 'selfie' is? No, but it's actually a dictionary-legit word now. The fact is that society is changing to a more socially relaxed form of language, in part to a more relaxed culture and one that, well, wants to text with a higher wpm.

Are children losing intelligence due to the internet? No. Feel free to call me on it, but the ability to look up something on Google seems more common sense than to do it the old fashioned way. I grew up doing essays without the internet. You know what we used? Encyclopedia sets. Huge ones. Like, fifty book sets of them. Our teachers would give us a library day and we'd have to research our topics. I remember waiting for the person ahead of me to finish the letter group I needed, or groups would use the same book and pass them along. Now, had Google existed back then, would using those books have been the wisest of choices? The most 'common sense' choice? A world of hell no! Instead of spending an hour to a half hour looking for information to use, and hoping to find it, I could spend seconds on a Google search and have an abundance of information available to me, from multiple different sources.

While I'm all up for kids being more interested in book-reading... ever heard the term 'book smart, common sense stupid'? It comes to mind.

Society changes. As technology becomes more readily available people will become accustomed to a simpler way of life. Because that's what technology IS people, it's the simplification of life's day to day using inventions and new ideas.
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  #42    
Old February 28th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Leo Baskerville View Post
Our generation is certainly different than the last, but while we're tech obsessed, and maybe occasionally lazy with school work, we're also more educated and open about matters involving equality and rights than they are. Some of us are understanding of issues that they would turn up their noses at, and not even attempt to debate. What some of us can do with computers would make them have heart attacks. Their generation had its share of people that were "stupid" as well, if that's what you wanna call it. You never hear of the uneducated because they never made a name for themselves, you only hear of the success.
I think with all the innovations, rather than inventions, within the technological field is what contributes to our apparent obsession and increased levels of laziness. On that note, would we consider the older generation "stupid" for not being able to handle the different types of technology that society has acquired since their generation? Probably not. We are becoming, or are already, at the stage where we are highly dependent on technology for managing everything, from the simplest to most complex, and thus comes with it a sense of ignorance that could potentially be attributed to our generation's "stupidity." Though like previous posters have mentioned, our generation is thoroughly aware and understanding of certain issues that were forgotten or neglected before.
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  #43    
Old March 10th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Well I wouldn't say that the generation is stupid - but you can certainly see changes between never and older generations - mainly because we now have so many apps and so many sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) - I don't consider someone "stupid" when they have horrible grammar - but rather annoying if they do it on purpose. I've read a lot when I was a kid - We didn't have Facebook or computer at that time - I only had computer for games built-in it and we read more than this generation is - so this might be another reason for the lack of vocabulary - and the fact that there are so many memes going around with swag, yolo etc.
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  #44    
Old March 10th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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^In addition, the general population has were never been as intelligent as it is now.

For instance, we often see the romanticized 1800's. Luxury, Victorian, morality, dignity, list goes on...However, the proprietary 1800's we see in film, literature, and culture doesn't present a realistic sense of society in the 19th century England. The upper classes studied language vigorously in order to bolster their appearance of wealth and stature in society.

Today, we still compete in this social battlefield to convey our "fitness" to others, whether we are aware of it or not. Though, collectively, our society is largely literate, one could not argue such during the drafting of the U.S Constitution or Victorian Age; only 60% of Americans and Englishmen could read and write. (That doesn't even account for how well.)

Even Palestine (the state of Palestine) boasts a high 90%+ literacy rate for both men and women. A marked improvement over very few short decades. Education is a commodity, and countries have been doing nothing but increasing their investment in order to stay competitive. This is one of the effects of Capitalist globalization. [though I am not saying I do or do not holistically endorse capitalism ]
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  #45    
Old March 10th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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iirc there was a big fuss about students having poorer reading skills now than before; so that may well be right. The internet CAN be a matter of just playing games that aren't particularly productive or helpful to someone's education in the time they could be reading. Maybe the ease of playing games and such online has distracted kids from improving their ability to read. In my case, my English drastically improved when I was exposed to the internet, since I didn't really read much in the first place, and since I wanted to talk to people online, that involved reading what they were saying and then writing myself... when I think of just how many words I've put online... I couldn't possibly count. It's definitely in excess of one million words though, since I definitely average more than one thousand words per day and I've been around for six years. Could well be significantly more than ten million words. Would I have written that had I not had access to the internet? Nope. I've surely read more than that number of words online as well. So, the internet can be a force for good on the reading front I think. It just might distract most people?

I also recall that our mathematical results in exams have been improving? Again, possibly a beneficial side effect of the ease of playing games online, I'd guess?

In my opinion though there's FAR more important things than how skilled we are with words and numbers; and that's how good we are with each other. I think the internet is a positive force there too; if people take the time to immerse themselves in the many minds all around the world, surely we'll understand people better than we would if we were just cooped up in our local tribes! Rights for people have been coming on in leaps and bounds, as people are getting much more understanding and educated on social matters that we really should have known better about!

So yeah, in my opinion, we may have taken a small backwards step in our written ability, but I think that socially, our generation have a great ability to emphasise with others, at least, from the people I've known and what I've seen, I've come to that conclusion. There's a very very long way to go before we can be happy with humanity though. Before we can get there, the vast majority of people need to know not what to think but how. I can't stress the importance of that enough.
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  #46    
Old March 17th, 2014, 07:48 PM
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Did your teacher cite some peer reviewed studies, performed a meta-analysis on those studies (to check for publication bias), and elaborate on the methodologies, estimates and standard errors (to ensure scientific based belief rather than faith based belief)? Or was your teacher just talking out of their arse? I suspect the latter.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 02:43 AM
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I read somewhere that "our generation is not more stupid than previous ones, we just have more means to expose that stupidity", and to some extent i have to agree with that statement. People have always made stupid choices now and then, but now thanks to social media and the internet its just easier to find out how stupid exactly one can be. And i dont like that kind of generalization, because while some people are yoloing around, other young and bright minds are doing incredible and inspiring things with their lifes.
I will say though that the quality of newscasting has decreased in the last years imo
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Old March 21st, 2014, 06:50 AM
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Out of personal experience, I find that a lot of people my own age have very mediocre vocabularies. I can use a word like "reminisce" or "intermingle" and they'll either not know what it means or simply guess at it. Guessing is OK (I tend to break words down in French to find meaning in context), but it is bothersome when I literally have to dumb myself down for these people. My mother would recommend doing so because it is only fair to them. My father and I, on the other hand, feel it's their responsibility to work on their own basic knowledge and understanding as to understand other people. Unless I'm writing an essay with a very particular audience, I will choose how I speak, and if it's not understood due to a lack of vocabulary, then the fault doesn't lie with me: it lies with the listener.

In school, I was always considered arrogant and a know-it-all for having a better vocabulary. I attribute it to reading and writing; whereas most kids had TV, I didn't and was forced to read and write for fun instead. In fact, in the future I do not believe I will have TV for my own kids because it has most certainly assisted me throughout my educational career. There's nothing on TV that you can't read in a book.

I'm definitely not for jargon, however. "Utilize" instead of "use" is really not necessary, unless the term "use" has repeated itself too often in a series of phrases. I do expect people my own age to know what "indoctrination," "paramount" and "circumvention" mean. I also expect little things, like the difference between "its" and "it's;" the difference between "their," "there" and "they're;" as well as words like "practice" and "practise" or "effect" and "affect." Very basic, elementary concepts, yet their incorrect usage is so horribly widespread that I cringe.
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  #49    
Old March 21st, 2014, 08:08 AM
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I definitely don't think our generation is stupid. Every generation has had not so smart moments in the past. For example, in the past generation(s), they thought smoking was cool and wasn't bad for you. That's more damaging than texting a friend, "lololol look at dis."

I know kids who are smarter than my own mother for God's sake.

At this point, I don't believe that we can base an entire generation on a few people. Of course there will be some stupid people in the mix but there also are smart people as well.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 10:46 AM
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It takes much more to get through school these days than it did before, and it's much more of a big deal these days whether you've been through college or not. So I'd say almost definitely not.
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