Is Google making us stupid? What the Internet is doing to our brains… In Nicholas Carr’s article, “Is Google making us stupid? What the Internet is doing to our brains”, he’s not necessarily saying that Google is making us stupid, instead, he’s stating the fact that the computer has so much going on, our brains are becoming more and more like it each day we access it.
In addition, the main point of this article is to discuss how the internet may have negative effects on the human mind, in that, the way in which we use the internet is changing the way our brains absorb information and the quick access to information on the Internet has lead to individuals becoming “annoyed” in reading and “happier” due to the fact that we can easily browse through without thinking. Carr believes that the structure of the brain is slowly being reprogrammed thus getting rid of his ability to think deep into scripts and making it easier for him to surf from link to link. Carr is not the only one who feels this was.
In the article, the existence of this fact is carried out by several anecdotes as well as by a 5 year research program carried out by university scholars. He says, “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words, now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski”. As a writer, he finds the Internet as being very useful but he admits it’s having a bad effect on his concentration. Unlike speech, reading and writing is not instilled in our genes and so the way we write depends heavily on which we have to do so. In one area of the article, Carr describes how the human brain reacts to changes on technology.
The human brains can adapt quite well to changes in the way we do stuff and adjust to the new environment. Carr states that “Kubrick’s dark prophecy, “as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flatters into artificial intelligence” Simply put, we might have those sources where we can get all the knowledge we want conveniently and feel intelligent but it’s by no means the same. The article has impacted the minds of readers in the sense that, it clearly demonstrates that Carr’s evaluation of the Internet’s effect is fair.
It shows that we are depending too much on the Internet. It proves that the author is quite knowledgeable and organized. He has several strong points depicting that people rely solely on the internet instead of making use of our brains. Our brains can be classed as an “outdated computer” that needs a faster “processor” and a bigger “hard drive”. We have the ability to think rather than “skimming” through. Google however, is not making us stupid; it is helping us to reclaim our legacy of learning through a faster medium to exchange ideas in a social setting.
We listen to person opinion when we are in groups right? It’s the same when using the internet, we read as if we are listening to our group members or lecturers. Simply put, the Internet is just a new way to enjoy learning. We must admit, the Internet affects our ability to read books and the way we think has changed, not the way we read. With any piece of writing, there come limitations/criticisms. Hence the article, “Is Google making us stupid” is basically broad and opinionated, to the point where it diminishes the value of his initial claim that Google reduces critical thinking ability.
For instance claims that he was “a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” . With claims like these he expresses his own opinion, he doesn’t depict a fact. These claims distract the reader from the argument and force the reader to rely on his opinion. Carr does not give evidences of how Google is making internet users stupid. He only gives his personal life experiences or that of his “acquaintances/friends”. It lacks scientific data and is too informal for his argument to have any value.
Secondly, Carr is expecting individuals to “know” everything without secondary sources such as Internet. Not everyone can remember things like when Queen Elizabeth was born or who the president of the U. S was in the 80’s. Another area of the article highlights that at the Google headquarters, they are making it their mission to make “the perfect search engine” where it “understands what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want”. By then, technology will be doing the thinking for us. This is somehow true but if we really think about it, isn’t it still the human brain that outs all that information into the internet?
Hence, it is basically “sharing” information or “helping” others. In improving the article, the author needs to address the question, Is Google making us smart too? Even though we agree that the Internet has a fundamental effect on our thoughts and reasoning, the article can be improved by stating that we can’t do without the internet since universities now have specific websites where students have to view their work and upload assignments etc. Carr only state that it is affecting the way we think but oes not address the matter that some courses are now offered online and some projects require secondary sources such as online journals/from websites, not just from periodicals. He also needed to address the fact that some students cannot afford books required for various courses and if they do not have access to library books they can use the Google to do their research or read from books offered online. From critiquing the article, it can be said that the information given by Carr is quite informative and relevant about the internet’s influence on the brain and its cognitive functions.
Giving both rhetorical and psychological analysis of the issue is commendable. In concluding, it’s not that Google is making us stupid, there’s just so much information, it has become overwhelming. We can consume all that information given but will we get the “jest” of what it really means? The Internet is just an easier way to gather information even though it cuts back on one’s urge to read books but it doesn’t necessarily reduces people’s thoughts and reasoning.