The big issue in society is whether technology is good or bad for us. Society today is easily distracted from our phones, tablets, computers, the internet and social media apps that we use on a daily basis. You will most likely see someone on their phone wherever you are. It definitely effects our daily lives in good and bad ways depending on why you are on your phone or any other device. You could be doing research for a class, looking up directions, calling your mom, emailing a friend, liking a picture on instagram, or just browsing the internet just because, the possibilities are endless. “Interruptions are the scourge of modern life. Our days and nights are full of gadgets that ping, buzz and beep their way into our attention, taking us away from whatever we are doing” (Sullivan Students Can’t Resist). The main concern is, is technology distracting us from our daily lives and holding us back from focusing and getting things done.
In the article Is Google Making Us Stupid, Nicolas Carr talks about how the internet essentially changes the way people think. He talks about how he used to be able to open a book and just read it with ease, but now he can barely get the the third page of a book without getting distracted and losing interest. Carr explains that he began using the internet for his benefit as a writer to do his research because it was more convenient and faster than spending days at the library looking for research in the books themselves. The internet gives everyone immediate access to information in a matter of seconds which is why books are hardly ever used anymore. The internet is a tool that gives everyone information without an effort on the researchers part. All you have to do is type your question in the browser and you have immediate results. Thus instead of using your deep thinking skills when reading something on the internet and absorbing all the information without being distracted, you are more likely to browse through the page and not really take the information in front of you and absorb it all the way. “Google’s mission, for example, is to develop ‘the perfect search engine’ so we as consumers, can access more information at once and become more productive thinkers and be efficient in our work” (Carr Is Google Making Us Stupid). Although Carr mentions some drawbacks of using the easy access of the internet for finding fast information, he also explores the good things about the internet that have helped us progress in technology and even in our thinking.
Social media is how almost everyone with a smart phone, tablet, computer or other electronic device communicates with. Using social media they share their lives with people who follow them or are friends with over facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat and other social media platforms. Not only do we know about everyones lives, but it is also a distraction to real life and many people are on their phones rather than experiencing what is right in front of them.
“Social media networking takes a lot of one’s time and with all the new information that people are absorbing, social networks are taking people’s time and life away and everything around that person is ticking by without the person knowing it” (Paton Social Media Networks). Technology has evolved from just being able to look information up on the internet, but to a platform where especially everyone uses it to communicate and share their daily lives and it can be very distracting.
Nicolas Carr stated that the internet provided a fast easy way to access information and make life easier and more efficient. But, after spending so much time on the internet he found it hard to focus on reading a simple book and would find himself becoming fidgety and bored easily. Is the internet really effecting the way he reads and absorbs information? Carr explains that even when he’s not working he finds himself on the internet just browsing things like his e-mails, news headlines, blog posts, watching videos, listening to podcasts, or just going from link to link. “Social network overuse can not only affect your academic life, but also your personal life as well” (Staff Social Networking Creates). The internet has become this universal medium where you can find almost anything just by typing something in the search engine with little to no effort. Since the internet has evolved with different social media apps people find themselves doing the same things that Carr has found himself doing. “Social media and electronics have created a world of digital distractions for students, making homework time a nightmare” (Paton Social media Networks). We as a society are constantly on our phones on different apps and find ourselves distracted on our phones from whats happening in real life.
People in today’s society have all this information at their fingertips without having to break a sweat and it makes us lazy in a way because we aren’t really looking hard for information like we would at a library, it is just given to us. And because we are just given information in an instant, we don’t really absorb any of it. We just scan things and don’t really “read” it. “The media is not just a passive source of information; the media provides the thoughts, but they also shape the process of thought” (Carr Is Google Making Us Stupid). What this means is that the media essentially shapes the way we think because of the information we are given and how it is given to us. Carr says he is not the only one who suffers from not being able to read like he used to. His friends, acquaintances, and fellow bloggers seem to be having the same issue with reading long pieces of writing. They all said the more they are on the internet, the harder it is for them to focus on reading. Some people said they can’t even read a long article online or in print anymore without becoming distracted. Is the internet changing our metal habits to absorb information? It cannot be determined to be true, but there are a lot of studies and experiments that are looking in how the way our brain has changed because of internet use. Most of the studies show that most people get to two or three pages skimming an article and not reading the whole thing before going onto another website where they do the same thing. Skimming the internet is what most people do to make research or finding something faster. But, the problem with that is you could miss a lot of important key information. It is clear that the traditional sense of reading is not the same reading that is used when someone is skimming an article online. It seems like most people go online to not read in the traditional sense as well. The internet has made it more convenient for everyone to access information, but the traditional sense of reading seems to be something that is lost in the past.
Never has a communication system played so many important roles in our lives or applied so much broad influence over our own thoughts as the internet and social media does today. Without it we would live in a whole different world. Just think about what the world would be like if we had to figure stuff out on our own without a computer device helping us in a matter of seconds. Even if we wanted to find out things on our own why would it even make a difference? Well the difference is more of how to get information to people around the world quicker and faster. For example someone could be having a conversation with someone from The U.S and they could be in Asia. It’s a new way of communicating and a new way to share thoughts and open your mind to new ways of thinking. The internet may have executed the way some people used to think when they read a book, but it doesn’t mean they can’t get the same information form that book in a shorter sense on the internet. It all boils down to how you personally feel about the internet and how it effects you and how you think. Everyone is different in the way they process things and how they read and understand text of any kind from a book to and article on the computer screen. Technology can be distracting, but in the end it is a source that we have grew up with and would be lost without it.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 20 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
News, Bob Sullivan Columnist NBC. “Students Can’t Resist Distraction for Two Minutes … and Neither Can You.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 18 May 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
Paton, Jasmine. “Social Media Networks Are Distracting Students.” Social Media Networks Are Distracting Students. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
Phil Dunn, The (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post. “Students Say Social Media Interfere with Homework.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
Staff, Echo. “Social Networking Creates Distractions, Nuisance among Students.” The Echo. N.p., 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
Stinson, Taylor. “#Bored: How Social Media Is Making This Generation Distracted And Unhappy.” Elite Daily. N.p., 06 Aug. 2015. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.s