Is Google Making Us Stupid?

In the article Is Google Making Us Stupid? Nicholas Carr shares how the internet is causing great harm to the way we humans think and process information. He uses his own thoughts and the experiences of others to explain the phenomena of no longer being able to focus on a long article of information. He also explores how the internet does not only shorten our attention span, but also changes the way we think. The media, for example, does not just present information, they present information to persuade you into thinking what they want you to think instead of drawing your own ideas and conclusions. Carr also explores how being on the computer can change more than just the way you read, but even the way you write. Yes, using different mediums for writing actually makes a difference in your writing style. Another example he uses is the printing press, another technology. During its creation, many people believed that it made people lazy and it was weakening their minds, similarly to how Carr describes the internet. Toward the end of the article, Carr expresses his disdain for Googles comments on how we’d all be “Better off” if our minds were replaced by artificial technology. In conclusion of Carr’s arguments, the internet is making us all lazier and giving us less capacity to retain our own information due to the fact that we rely on Google and other search engines for quick, and easy information.

Modern technology is an extremely useful tool in today’s society. Although I do believe Google and other search engines gift of giving us the ability to easily find information, I can understand the point Carr is trying to make. Ironically, for example, I had trouble keeping focused and not letting my mind wander while reading his very article. I found it interesting that I also have the same problems he has while reading long drawn out articles like looking for something else to do, daydreaming, etc. Although I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing, I have realized that I do rely on information from the internet quite a bit, but I do see how that could become a problem. If we end up relying on the internet  for everything we will decrease the capacity for information in our minds. The article also reminds me of something my mother used to tell me and it actually has a lot of similarities when you think about it. “Back in the day,” before smartphones existed, you couldn’t just save numbers, you would have to search through a phonebook or remember them. After smartphones were invented all that changed and you no longer had to spend the time remembering number or looking up names. This is very similar to how Carr is expressing how it could be a problem that everything we ever wanted to know is a quick and simple push of a button that requires little to no thought. Although I believe technology and Google do much more good than bad, I do agree with Carr’s point that people are becoming too reliant on technology for a variety of different things, and it is decreasing our mental capacity.

Thomas

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