Is Google Making Us Stupid: Summary and Response
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Over history technology has changed mankind’s overall culture. From clocks to computers the use of electronics and tools is occurring every day in almost all situations. In Carr’s article “Is Google Making us Stupid?” he introduces the idea how the internet is changing our lives by making us mentally process information differently from the past, based off previous changes in history. Carr explains how we think less deeply and rely on quick facts, versus using critical thinking and research. Also he explains how our brain is malleable, and may be changed by the internet’s impression. Lastly Carr talks about what the internet may become in the future, and how it could make us more like computers. I believe Carr’s ideas on the way the internet is shaping lives are valid because the proof is all around us. (Carr)
Carr believes the internet makes us less deep thinkers due to its easiness. He elaborates on how we only have to ask a question and there isn’t any lengthy research, becoming like a pancake. Since on the internet we gain a lot of spread out information, but not in depth knowledge on the specific topic, becoming spread out and thin intellectually, like a pancake. Carr says, we no longer have to analyze information and understand it ourselves, but instead rely on simple answers. The simplicity and easiness of finding an answer is changing deep thought, to shallow thinking. (Carr)
I agree with Carr that we are becoming shallow thinking people because the internet makes research quick and simple. I relate this to the phrase “Just Google it”, this is commonly used when we don’t want to research or think in depth about a topic and we rely on the internet and other people’s experiences to educate ourselves. What this ultimately does is change us from critical thinkers into lazy-like typing zombies that believe almost anything online since we no longer rely on ourselves to investigate. I see this not only in myself, but in many of my peers. Carr could be correct, society may become more and more simple minded and leave extended thinking in the past with paper text.
In “Is Google Making us stupid”, Carr explains how the brain is malleable and how the internet might be shaping it by literally rewiring the brains network. Carr gives a brief example of how neurons can be made and broke depending on what things shape the way things are done. By being used to instant searching and internet preferences, the brain reprograms itself in being used that certain way. He thinks by using the internet so much, we will become more and more objective and quick thinkers, and ultimately emotionless computers. He also gives examples of how the clock and typewriter changed our way of thinking in the past. Adapting this way will rewire thought processes and continue to dictate how we act. Carr’s theory may be more obvious as we continue to be reliant on technology. (Carr)
Again I agree with Carr’s theory on changing the brain’s thought processes because the proof is in the history of mankind. When Carr stated the fact of how the clock had made a huge impact on how we go about our day, I realized its significance. Modern culture is completely shaped by time, when we eat, sleep, work, and much more. I have seen this first hand when I worked with Native Americans. They do not rely on time frame, and kind of live, work, and do as they feel and the setting of day. Knowing the clock has made such a huge impact on our lives, I plainly see how it changed our brains thought pattern. We have wired ourselves mentally to wake up on time, and what we will do. Again I have to agree since scientific research has shown that the brain rewires its self, constantly making new, and breaking old neuron channels. Seeing this specific pattern gives proof to how internet is taking the place of the clock in a modern way. Google continues to grow and change the way things are perceived on a daily basis because the internet is used in everything anymore.
Ultimately Carr believes we are headed to a future where we all think like a “HAL” computer. He says: “As we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence” (Carr). Piecing his entire article together leads Carr to believe we are progressing into a computer-like culture. A culture where our emotions become artificial and task orientated. Becoming “Pancake people” and knowing a lot pertaining to everything yet little about each topic. He fears we will think collectively and quick thinking for ourselves, again becoming more like a computer system. The more our society becomes reliant on technology, the more people become like the systems they use.
Lastly I do not absolutely agree with Carr’s complete concept of where we are going because I think human kind will always have human nature, and primal instinct. I think of it this way, technology is fueled through electricity, electricity is not a natural element we can just accumulate. Knowing this, if someday in the future all power fails along with the internet and technology we rely on, we may begin to regress backwards and forget about the habitual use of the internet. When everything powers down, man will not. Human nature is to fight, survive, live, and love. However I do believe as we use the internet the more we act like it, but I don’t think it’s going to drastically change natural habits. Life style is changed through the internet, but we are still human.
The more the internet is used, the more it dictates our culture. Look around electronics are everywhere and constantly being upgraded. As time goes on the more everyone relies on networks like the internet. It may change our process of life and thought, and may even adapt us into the new era of mankind. Carr has brought much of this information into perspective and maybe if everyone would look around it is possible to see how society has progressed so much since the birth of the internet. People can now learn instantly, train, communicate, and work with everyone on the planet. This alone has advanced, changed mostly everything done in our current culture. Being human will always be the essence of actions throughout life, but the internet has changed the way we live. From Google, GPS and Facebook; everyone plans, works, and seizes the day being surrounded by these technologies.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. Atlantic
Magazine, August 2008. Web. 29 January 2013.