Google, the place all humans go to get their questions answered. The real question is, is it messing with our way of thinking? Nicholas Carr sure thinks so. He tells us that over the past few years someone or something has been changing the way his mind works. “I’m not thinking the way I used to think.” (Carr 313) In “ Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Carr states that our love for the internet is shortening our attention spans causing us to not fully get into the deep reading of a book or article as humans were able to do before. We now just skim through everything quickly without actually absorbing what we are reading. He supports this argument with different people experiences such as his own, his friends, bloggers, and scholars.
Carr talks about how he used to be able to get lost in the narrative of a book and how he can rarely do that anymore. He loses his concentration after a few pages and then starts searching for something else to do. He blames this struggle on the internet. Carr says “my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr 315) He adds a research program to is argument which found that people exhibited “a form of skimming activity”. They reported “It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.” (Carr 317) Carr agrees that now a days we read more than we did in the 70’s when humans watched more television than read books, but it is a different kind of reading and thinking.
I agree with Carr’s argument of the internet shortening our attention spans. I myself can not read a book without losing absolute interest after the first two pages. Honestly I barely could keep my focus reading this very article. Our generation has gotten so used to having everything we want at our own fingertips in a few seconds that we are not sure what to do without it. This is probably why we have such a hard time keeping our focus, we probably are interested in one thing and while we read about it we suddenly are interested in something else switching our concentration to the next thing our mind comes up with. We do this simply because we can. Although I agree that our attentions spans are decreasing I do not believe that the internet is all that evil. We have all the information in the world and its only a few clicks away. While before, people had to spend hours researching books searching for a specific thing we can now just type it into Google and have our answer in a few seconds. For our generation the internet brings us closer together. We get news on things that relate to us, we see posts that may interest us and people from all around the world comment and add on to different conversations. An example would be the situation that immigrants have now with our new president. I myself have seen people posting alerts on places that immigrants should avoid because of the checkpoints that are being set up. This shows how the internet connects us all. One person posts one thing and in a matter of seconds it is viral. Police can post a photo of a criminal and ask for peoples help in identifying them and the internet goes wild sharing the post till they are found. What I am trying to say is that the internet brings more good than evil. The internet lets humans be more social and keep in touch with people and meeting all kinds of people in different places in the world. Again this is connecting us humans together. We have apps on our phones that let us meet new people, we have an app to get rides from point A to point B without using a bus, we literally have an app for almost everything you can think of. The internet just keeps growing everyday. By tomorrow their will be new information posted somewhere about a new study, new drug, new cure, or just about what Beyonce is going to name her set of twins.
Carr’s argument about Google making us stupid is correct in one thing and that is that humans attentions spans are decreasing, but he does not include how amazing the internet is. He did include a paragraph on how he enjoys how easy it is to access information with the internet. “The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many,” (Carr 315). We now have a different way of reading and a different way of learning than Carr probably did growing up. Change is a good thing though. Humans are evolving into different forms of gaining knowledge. In todays generation it is all about the internet. Who knows what the future has to hold and how things will change in the next couple of generations. Our quest for knowledge will never halt, it will only continue forward.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 01 July 2008. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
Google Images. https://iont3ch.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/google-stupid.jpg