Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid” is an article in which he explains how technology has changed our culture overall. From large desktop computers to the use of smartphones in our everyday life, it obvious how the internet is changing not only how we communicate with each other but how we mentally process things as well. Carr discusses how we think less deeply and rely on information supplied in seconds using a quick Google search. Carr justifies his arguments using research done by multiple universities.
While the internet is a useful tool and provides us with quick and easy knowledge, it’s important to realize how it can affect our mental process, and how we view things. Over the last 30 years we have heavily implemented technology into our everyday lives, and even into our education system. It is now more difficult to teach students important skills such as critical thinking, because students simply don’t want to take the time do it. So instead of reading a book, annotating, and applying knowledge about what we’re reading, we may just take to google.
In the beginning of the article Carr makes a reference to a scene in a 1968 science fiction film called, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, in this scene the supercomputer, known as “Hal”, is being torn apart. Hal then begs for his life and claims that his mind is beginning to go away, Carr is comparing the supercomputer to our minds, but instead of our minds being torn apart by others, we are doing that damage all by ourselves. Carr explains that we have traded our gained intelligence, for the easily attainable knowledge of the internet. Since something is on the internet it must be true right? Well, unfortunately that isn’t the case. Many believe that google has all of the answers, and that they shouldn’t do further research from credible sources. We no longer want to deal with reading complex words, or difficult texts, as we’ve become lazy with our reading.
I can admit that sometimes I don’t feel like reading something, and I’ve felt like I could just google the answers. I was wrong, and I ended up having an interpretation of the book I couldn’t explain. Now that I’m more mature and try to be more particular about my work, I’ve noticed the more I go over reading material, the more I tend to understand it and find out new things each time. I’m grateful that I grew up in a time where technology was just a class we visited on Fridays, now that it is heavily implemented into my life I try my best to not use it for my school work unless I truly have to.
Carr is sure to make it known that he is referring to himself as well, he mentions that he finds it difficult to write as eloquently as he once did as a side effect of using the internet so often. He isn’t the only one either, according to a study done in 2008, where around 34 million articles between 1945 and 2005, were analyzed and showed surprising results. The number of citations in papers between the years had drastically reduced, about 14% per year. While technology has negatively affected us as readers, it has also provided us with countless reading sources, even including online libraries.
So, how do you read? If you’re like a large majority of us, when you go to the library you find your book title, skim through the book and you’re finished. A large majority of us no longer take the time to truly understand what we’re reading, we just get the minimum information we need to absorb. As readers we can be quite picky on what we choose to well, read. Carr suggests that if an article is handwritten rather than typed, we will be more likely to read it. I feel I agree with this statement, because when something is hand written there is something about it that makes it feel that much more special
Overall, I’d have to say I agree with Carr. I feel he makes valid points on an issue I would’ve never even thought about before. I don’t believe google has all the answers, and I feel that even if I do feel obligated to google something, I should make sure to use credible sources. While I’d like to think I’m a very opinionated person I feel as if sometimes I see others opinions on the internet and they kind of make me want to change mine. I also find that I am more easily influenced by others, with the larger amount of time I spend on the internet.
So, is google making us stupid? Personally, I wouldn’t go as harsh as to say stupid, lazy at best. I believe if we didn’t rely so heavily on technology in the classroom, we might not have the issues that we face today. While paper back books may get damaged more easily, it is always better to have something physically in your hands, rather than to have games on a computer.