March 23, 2015
Project Three Summary
Since the early development of electronic technology people have debated whether technology has made us more or less intelligent. In Clive Thompson’s essay,
“The dumbest generation? No, twitter is making kids smarter” and Nicholas Carr’s essay, “Is Google making us stupid?”, they expound on the debates of what the internet is doing to our brains. Thompson writes about how kids are now growing up with new technology that is changing the way we learn and although most people think technology is what is making them stupid, it is actually the opposite. Thompson says, “
fact, there’s powerful evidence that digital tools are helping young people write and think far better than in the past”. Thompson explains that studies show more students only care about their writing now if they have an audience. Writing an essay that a kid knows only a teacher will read is insignificant compared to if the kid is posting something on twitter. Carr takes a different look at how the internet has affected us. He uses the movie
2001 A Space Odyssey as a comparison to our could be future. Carr writes about how his attention span has shortened ever since the internet, and it’s not just him: “
more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing”. Carr says that easy access to all this information is turning our brains into high speed data processing machines which could eventually turn us into artificial intelligence. 2
While Thompson and Carr both have similar essay topics, their writing differs.
Thompson’s essay opens with a conversation via text and gives the reader information about how many students use technology on a daily basis. Thomson's claim is that twitter and other social media networks make students care about their writing because it’s for an audience. He make his claim logical by handling the audiences possible questions and counter arguments head on. He brings them up in the article directly and provides solutions. Thompson’s writing is targeting adults who work with teenagers, like parents and educators. Carr’s essay opens with a scene from
2001: A Space Odyssey and comparing it to the modern day.
Carr’s claim is our ability to consume large amounts of data at one time has not diminished due to the ability to find an answer in seconds over the internet. We now look for large amounts of data in a shorter time. Carr addresses the audiences possible questions and counter arguments by going through how he believes Google is making us stupid and provides examples and statistics to back this hypothesis. Carr was writing to adults who have a concern for how technology is affecting our society, but explains why more people should care. Synthesis
Clive Thompson and Nicholas Carr have very different opinions on how they think the internet has changed us. In Thompson’s essay, “The dumbest generation? No,
twitter is making kids smarter” and Nicholas Carr’s essay, “Is Google making us stupid?” both authors write about their opinions of the internet and how it has effected us.
Although after reading both of their views I feel like I can agree with both of them to some degree, when Thompson writes about students not caring about their writing unless it’s for an audience, I can really relate. The amount of time I take to sit down and write a paper for school is minimal. I know that the teacher will read it and give me a grade then no one will ever see that paper again; However, before I put something up on any social media site I read it over five to eight times to check for spelling or grammar errors. I think about it for at least five minutes to make sure it’s something I want everyone on the internet to see. And since that is exactly Thompsons point, when