Our brains are under fire! That’s all that has been brought to our attention. Are our minds really being destroyed? Are we being robbed of our intelligence? Nicholas Carr made a blog and argued that Google is making us stupid. I will counter this by propelling the argument that Google is making us smarter. Google feeds our intelligence, allows a more creative approach to solving problems, helps build cognitive skill, puts an ease to our worries , and saves us time..
Google feeds our intelligence. Zimmer wrote, “Humans are ‘natural-born cyborgs,’ and the Internet is our giant ‘extended mind.'(Zimmer). I think it’s best that we get the obvious out of the way and say that Google will give us information to almost everything we want to know. It allows us to dive deep into information. Our minds store information, thus giving us more knowledge. Lucky for us, our minds expand themselves.
No matter what type of pressure we are under, our brains try to deal with it. Clark and Chalmers stated in their short essay published in the Journal Analysis, “The mind appears to be adapted for reaching out and making the world, including our machines, an extension of itself.”(Clark,Chalmers). PBS uses data from extensive research and surveys to prove that Google helps us become more intelligent. In one survey, 895 experts were asked to answer questions on the future of the Internet and our brains.
PBS states, “Seventy-six percent of the respondents agreed with the statement “By 2020, people’s use of the Internet will have enhanced their intelligence,” only 21 percent disagreed”(PBS). PBS also stated, “It’s a mistake to treat intelligence as an undifferentiated whole”(PBS). Next, I will explain how Google allows us to have a more creative approach to problems..
Google allows us to approach our problems in a creative way. Weinberger states, ‘Google can prevent us from having silly arguments”(Weinberger). To keep us from falling into that chaos, Google provides us with answers. Even though ideas can come from anyone, we wouldn’t just go to a random person on the street and ask them to answer a question that, nine times out of ten, theyv’e never thought about.
Although, there are people out there that will know, we can’t just look at their faces and go, “well they should know, let me ask them”. So, where do we go? We could ask a professor, but they may be busy doing “professor things”. Our best alternative would be Google. Google allows us to view hyperlinks that will support our theories, and also, introduce a new way of viewing our theories. There is a right answer to every question, especially if it is debatable. Next, I will explain how Google helps build cognitive skill.
UCLA study finds that searching the Internet increases brain function. When we get old, our brain starts to age. Champeau states, “As the brain ages, a number of structural and functional changes occur, including atrophy, reductions in cell activity, and increases in deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which can impact cognitive function”(Champeau).
Some scientists wrote that, participating in activities that keep the mind engaged may help preserve brain health and cognitive ability. In that note, scientist are recommending the use of computers and the internet. With this information, UCLA decided to conduct an experiment. The team worked with 24 normal research volunteers who were between the ages of 55 and 76. In this experiment, half of the study participants had experience searching the Internet, while the other half had no experience.
Champeau stated that the results showed, “All study participants showed significant brain activity during the book-reading task, demonstrating use of the regions controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities, which are located in the temporal, parietal, occipital and other areas of the brain” (Champeau). However, there was a significant difference between the two groups. Although they both demonstrated the same brain activity, the Internet searching group appeared to have activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, which control decision-making and complex reasoning. The study shows that Internet reading group gained more knowledge than the group of book readers.
- Zimmer, Carl. ‘How Google Is Making Us Smarter | Discovermagazine.Com’. Discover Magazine, 2009, http://discovermagazine.com/2009/feb/15-how-google-is-making-us-smarter. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.
- Clark, Andy, and David Chalmers. ‘The Extended Mind’. Consc.Net, 1998, http://consc.net/papers/extended.html. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.
- Estes, Adam. ‘Google Is Making Us Stupid And Smart At The Same Time?’. The Atlantic, 2011, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/07/google-making-us-stupid-and-smart-same-time/352885/. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.
- ‘Weinberger, David. 13 Reasons You Should Spend More Time On The Internet’. Huffpost, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-weinberger/internet-makes-us-smarter_b_1225187.html?slideshow=true#gallery/5bb61157e4b039c29567ded1/6. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.
- ‘Will Google Make Us Smarter? Internet Experts Say Yes, But With Caveats’. PBS Newshour, 2010, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/will-google-make-us-smarter-internet-experts-say-yes-in-some-ways. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.
- Champeau, Rachel. ‘UCLA Study Finds That Searching The Internet Increases Brain Function’. UCLA Newsroom, 2008, http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-study-finds-that-searching-64348. Accessed 26 Oct 2018.