RWS Paper 3

Submitted By courtneyrenaae
Words: 1629
Pages: 7

Courtney Lee
Professor Pascual
RWS 100
10 November 2014
Why Is Technology Causing People to Get Distracted? An American author who writes about technology, business, and culture, Nicholas Carr, in his excerpt on “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, published in The Atlantic (July/August 2008) argues that the Internet seems to be shaping our process of thought and chipping away our capacity for concentration and contemplation. He claims that he used to be able to read lengthy books without a problem and had no difficulty immersing himself in prose. Carr supports his central claim by providing expert opinions from Lewis Mumford, Marshall McLuhan, Maryanne Wolf, his own experiences, and examples from Fredrick Winslow Taylor, about the deprivation of concentration they each underwent. He also makes other claims oh how the Internet has its benefits, which proves that he acknowledges that not all about Google, or the internet is negative. Nicholas Carr’s purpose is to forewarn people about the use of Internet technology and how it might affect the way they think and cause them to experience loss of prolonged concentration. The writer adopts a serious and solicitous tone for the readers of The Atlantic, college educated people middle-aged people, and all others interested in reading or learning about human-technology related topics. When was the last time you were able to engage in reading a book without having your thoughts drift you into a different direction? Or without having to go back and reread the last paragraph you read because you weren’t paying attention to yourself? The Internet has become a great tool for our use in the pursuit of knowledge. Search engines such as Google, allow us to instantly find information that we are looking for and therefor gaining almost immediate knowledge on a topic. However, there have been some people who believe search engines are doing the opposite and instead making us “stupid” or “lazy”. They believe that the Internet is replacing knowledge with information and contemplation with efficiency. In Carr’s article, he believes that our dependence on the Internet, specifically Google, has a negative effect on our cognitive abilities, which are detrimental to society as a whole. Nicholas Carr uses multiple different rhetorical strategies such as logos, ethos, and pathos to support his claim, but not all of the strategies he used were strong enough to make his argument convincing. Throughout Carr’s article, he appeals to logos through the strategy of factual data and statistics. Carr states many different claims but there is one main claim that makes the use of Internet making us stupid controversial. Nicholas Carr states, “[A]s we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence” (64). Although Carr has his own personal experiences with the negative effects of the web, he also did his research on how other writers had agreed with him on the subject to help support his strategies of logos. The use of the evidence from the other writers helps to draw in the reader and show them the effects of the Internet with the help of reputable resources. In the article, he states that one of the articles he gained information from had said, “It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense”; that the way we read now is what you would call ‘skimming’ or reading “horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins”(59). With reading on the web, people don’t read the entire article and it is seen that they bounce from page to page, losing focus quickly. Carr uses this information because the reader can relate to it, like himself. Like in the article he uses to support his case, he agrees how people, like himself, lose focus rather quickly when reading on the web, and it is causing people to lose focus when looking at physical readings. This information that Carr gathered