Are Archmere Students Awake or Asleep?


Bailey Larmore, Staff Writer

Jimmy Kimmel’s segment “Polling Random People on the Sidewalk” has thrived on the internet. In one video, a dozen city-goers fail to name even one book they know. The cringe-worthy video may leave English teachers in agony, especially as the last woman fails to name a book and admits she is a former librarian.

Kimmel’s videos broach the concern that the internet could be to blame for the lack of basic knowledge in society. Results pop up after about 0.52 seconds of hitting “enter” in a Google search so why should we remember anything? We don’t need to form our own opinions because we can access all the opinions out there by tapping our fingers on our phone screens. Can you name the most recent judge appointed to the Supreme Court? Do you know the locations of the two recent mass shootings? The Green Arch set out to see if our Archmere students know about the United States and recent social issues.

Archmere students, overall, had a strong showing, correctly reporting the number of stripes on the flag and the president before Barack Obama. Across the board both underclassmen and upperclassmen held their own. While most students answered the basic American history questions with ease, the more recent social or political questions proved difficult. Few students knew the identity of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with senior John Frankel creatively guess- ing she either made ginger ale or “is Snooki’s ghostwriter.”

Some answers were close, with Hillary Clinton named as a current presidential candidate. Some answers were not as close, with Matt Ryan, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, named as the current Speaker of the House. Only one of the polled students could detail the current crisis in China, and many were not familiar with climate activist Greta Thunberg who has been getting a lot of press recently.

In our current age of technology the ability to memorize facts can seem unimportant. The facts are easily accessible as long as there is a cell signal. Does this contribute to a short-term memory loss? When Googling a ques- tion, do you want to learn the answer or just regurgitate the answer from the first link that pops up?

I would argue that technology does not change the fact that students will cram information before a test and forget the next day. But the apparent dis- tance from news and social events seems hard to believe due to the Archmere

While Archmere students can almost definitely name one of the required summer reading books they painstakingly read, the community could use technology to stay in touch with global issues. Whether we connect with current events through the organizations supported by our favorite celebrities or by watching Carl Azuz in Law and Legal class, technology can aid in broadening our community’s perspective on social issues.