9 Ways The 21’st Century Is Making Me Dumber

1. My attention span has gone from books to movies to TV shows to YouTube videos to GIFs.

The last time I read a book cover to cover it was 2007 and it was Harry Potter 7. The only way I can sit through an entire movie is if I’m trapped in a dark theater and the only way out is embarrassingly fumbling over a row of angry spectators. To make matters worse, when someone sends me a YouTube video longer than 30 seconds, I’ll respond with, “I’m at work. I’ll watch this later”, when what I really mean is, “I’m looking at a tumblr of ‘Cats Doing Ballet.’ Send me a GIF next time.”

2. I’m mentally incapable of memorizing anyone’s phone number anymore.

I used to know the phone numbers of all my friends and family by heart. Now, if I lost my iPhone the only numbers I’d remember are  911 and 1-800 Flowers.

 3. I can’t locate my bathroom without consulting Google Maps.

First, pioneers like Lewis and Clark used compasses to navigate west to California. Then, my parents used road maps to navigate up I-95 during our family road trips. Now, I drop a pin and follow the little blue line to my nearest neighborhood Starbucks.

4. My texting vocabulary has become my regular vocabulary.

I typically leave vowels out of words and use abbreviations such as “u” and “r” for words. Sure, my e-mail chains are looking less and less like English and more and more like Algebra everyday but who has time to type two extra letters in the age of instant communication?

5. I don’t know how to use a real camera but I consider myself a professional photographer on Instagram.

Why do I need to worry about shutter speed or aperture openings when I have cool filters that make everything appear in sepia tones and look like it was shot in 1977. Seriously though, the picture I posted from the Grand Canyon looks exactly like the Ansel Adam’s that sold for 20 million at Sotheby’s so I must be doing something right.

6. If I don’t have access to Google I probably don’t know it. 

I don’t understand how people accessed information before the Internet age. Did our parents and grandparents just carry encyclopedias around everywhere? Wouldn’t that make it a lot harder to pretend you remember who “Jonos Salk” was when you’re really just reading about him under the table on your iPhone?

7. I have the handwriting of a third grader.

My signature looks like something you would see on exhibit at the MOMA.

8.  I write everything in the form of a list.

Text messages, e-mails, this article, condolence notes to grieving widows… I’ve even started speaking in lists. I’ll start a conversation by listing, “5 Things We Should Talk About Right Now” out loud and follow them up with quick, funny, two sentence blurbs. To be honest, just the thought of developing my thoughts in a well-constructed, paragraph-style, format is giving me a headache right now. Time to play Candy Crush

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