Many people seem convinced that the amenities and relative ease of modern life are going to make us -- or in fact, are already making us -- dumber as a species.
However, many social neuroscience researchers think that our high intelligence is a direct result not of overcoming hardships, but of our extremely large (compared to other species) social networks.
Modern social networks are vastly larger and more complex, with many more tiers of interaction, than social networks have ever been at any time in the past. It stands to reason that people who are better able to manage these huge social networks, and thus manage the multitude of associations between people and contexts, will be more liked, will be able to exploit potentially lucrative connections, will be more successful and thrive better, and ultimately will be more numerous, than those who are less able.
Therefore, if the social network hypothesis of intelligence is correct, over time the relative ease of our lives and technology which allows us to expand our social networks may ultimately make our species significantly more intelligent.
In other words, Facebook might be making us smarter.