In Nicholas Carr‘s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Carr decides to challenge technology, more specifically, the Internet and attempts to raise concerns about its effects on society and how people think. At the beginning of the essay, Carr describes how he feels as if someone was changing his brain. He claims he thinks differently from before; concentrating after a couple pages becomes nearly impossible and deep thinking is now difficult. Blaming these changes on the internet, he notes his internet habits, Deep thinking is a thing of the past and skimming through information becomes more dominant.
A study about online reading habits mentioned in the essay concluded that people who read online are reading in a different way Those people are found to skim online, and moving to the next source to skim. Carr then writes about the brain‘s plasticity, how it could change over time This means that the brain could change with the use of the internet and the ability to access vast amounts of information quickly.
He concludes the essay with his fear that people will lose deep thought and become automations, simply doing whatever is the most efficient and fastest. Nicholas Carr’s challenge that the internet is changing the way we think and read seems to have valid reasoning behind it. Although convenient, the internet has been shown to have negative effects. This has been backed by numerous studies which show cases of mental illnesses, desensitization, and more Carr includes anecdotal evidence in addition to the studies he cited.
He writes, “When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintancesi literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences” He comments that other people who also use the internet, are having the same problems he has, regarding thinking and concentration. Since today is the age of technology and information, his essay applies to everyone, myself included.
I would say that I also have been affected by the changes that Carr and others has described Reading text became more difficult and I rarely retain any information and details after reading a mere page. Interpreting the text for a deeper meaning or concept usually takes longer than usual. Online text is almost unbearable He notes, “Never has a communications system played so many roles in our live540r exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the internet does today” He is describing how the internet is nearly everywhere: in our computers, smartphones, smartwatches, and even connected appliances like refrigerators and washers, It would make sense that it would have an influence on our thoughts since the internet surrounds us. Carr could not have conveyed the negative effects of the internet and future consequences any better.
He effectively used personal experience, anecdotal evidence from others, studies about reading online, and quotes to describe the change going on in our brains and the possibly harmful effect it has on humanity and society as a whole Carr writes, “‘As we are drained of our ‘inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,’ Foreman concluded, we risk turning into ‘pancake people spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button,” This scary possibility of “pancake people” can become a reality, as we look towards the internet to think and process information for us, instead of ourselves Perhaps like Carr feared, we will become automations, with the goal of “maximum speed, maximum efficiency, and maximum output.”