Essay on Impact of Internet Thinking

Words: 4847
Pages: 20

Impact of the Internet on Thinking | September 24, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 33 | Is the Web changing the way we think? | |
By Alan Greenblatt OverviewRecently at lunch, Eric Wohlschlegel announced, “I have to take a BlackBerry pause.”Plenty of people interrupt social and business meetings to check messages on their mobile devices. There was a time just a few years ago, Wohlschlegel recalls, when his employer didn't require him to have a BlackBerry. Now, as a spokesman for the influential American Petroleum Institute, Wohlschlegel is expected to be in constant contact with the world at large, fielding some 200 work e-mails a day.He doesn't have the option of tuning them out. But when circumstances forced him to, he had a hard time
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The question of whether popular taste is being ruined or cheapened has come up with many new forms of communication, including movies, television, paperback books, comic books, video games and blogs.Jonah Lehrer, the author of How We Decide, a book about the brain and decision-making, and a blogger for Wired, the technology publication, argues that Carr's concerns are overstated. Sure, people need to put down their devices once in a while to allow themselves to daydream, he says, but he argues that the Internet provides far more than enough information to justify the distractions that come along with its use. |
“There's no doubt that we've come to depend on these tools radically in the last five to 10 years,” Lehrer says. “When an iPhone gets dropped and smashed and we have to wait for it to be fixed — we've all had that anxiety. But I would frame that anxiety as a sign of how useful these tools are for us, not how they're corrupting our Pliocene brain.”Some people have compared the Internet to an outboard brain or separate hard drive, capable of remembering far more than a human brain can — or needs to. “It's no longer terribly efficient to use our brains to store information,” according to Peter Suderman, a writer for the American Scene, an online magazine. “Rather than memorizing information, we now store it