April 30, 2013
Is Google Making us Stupid? : Argument In his article ‘Is Google Making us Stupid?’ Nicholas Carr argues that technology and the internet are changing the way people consume information, and how the world’s culture is adapting to new technological advancements. Though one of the major points in Carr’s theme is not that the internet is making us stupid but, rather are people’s way of doing certain things changing now that more and more people are using the internet.
He then moves on to say “…Someone or something has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory…” (Carr) And even though this is Carr’s personal experience I believe that this is a good example of what might be going on in a majority of people with computers or cellphones. They are not losing intelligence, but their way of looking at certain things and doing things have certainly changed. People no longer have to go to the library and look through various books and hundreds of pages when looking for information. Now all they have to do is get access to a computer and get their information after a few key presses and mouse clicks. With the way the internet is now, finding something has never been easier.
He mentions that his ability to concentrate when reading long articles and novels has wavered
I think I know what is going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a god send to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets- reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link… (Carr)
He gives a compelling example of how a majority of people browse the internet with his personal experience.
Technology has changed the way we see things but that it might be for the better. Here, he gives examples of what he and his peers would experience when reading novels and articles.
…And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.
I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?” (Carr)
Personally I still enjoy reading the books that interest me, but the truth is that his example of changing reading habits does not provide a valid reason. With the internet more and more people are reading every day. Though it may not be the best material for reading in an academic sense, reading more what people want is it not? It is not that it is necessarily beneficial for them but that it is entertaining. When people have trouble focusing on something it is not because they are not able to but that they are not interested. In the