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Is Google Making Us Stupid: The Impact of Internet on People

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In the article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?’ Nicholas Carr has briefly explained how the information on the internet harm us and our thinking mindset. He did a great job to explain how the internet is harming us nowadays and what are the disadvantages of using so much internet. Carr Perfectly described to us that where we have a lot of easiness to search and get information, at the same time we are paying a great price for it. Basically, Carr’s argument was that the computer/internet is affecting our capacity to make our own associations and develop our own ideas. He uses many different methods to do this, playing on the audience’s emotions as he uses his own observations, different research and anecdotes to try and convince the audience that the Internet has been detrimental to our thinking and learning processes.

In his article, Carr explained how the internet affected him. He pointed out that after he began using the internet, he was no longer able to read long texts of information without getting distracted and he is no longer firmly linked to what he was reading. Carr is not the only person who has noticed these changes, other researchers and scholars share similar concerns. Bruce Friedman, a blogger who Carr used as an example pointed out that blog post which are over three pages is too much to absorb and which is what Carr and other researchers have experienced. The reason for this according to Carr is that people are spending a lot of time on the internet. Carr argued that spending a lot of time on the internet and switching from one website to another has changed the way he reads information. He went on to note that he has stopped thinking the way he used to think. He also added that immersing himself in a lengthy article initially used to be very easy. His mind would get caught up in the narrative, and he would spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. However, since he began using the internet, he finds it harder to read lengthy books. His concentration usually begins to drift after reading two or three pages. This sentiments by the author are not unique to him since it is what other people are going through.

Our reliance on the web has a dark side too. An increasing body of scientific research has pointed out that the web, with its constant distractions and interruptions, is changing human beings to scattered and superficial thinkers. According to Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, the similar thread in such disabilities is the division of our attention. He went on to point out that the richness of one’s thoughts, memories and personalities hinges on once capacity to focus on brain and sustain concentration. It is only when one pays attention to a newer piece of information is when one is able to relate to it “meaningfully and systematically with information already well established in memory. These associations are crucial when it comes to mastering complex ideas and critical thinking.

The deep dependence on the internet is also impacting negatively on the performance of students in their school work. In a single research experiment that was carried out at a US university, half a class of students was allowed to use internet-connected laptops during their lectures, while the other half were asked to shut down their computers. At the end of this experiment, it was established that the students who were allowed to use internet-connected laptops during their lectures performed much worse on a subsequent test. The primary reason for this was that they were unable to recall what was taught in class since their attention/concentration levels were distracted. Initial experiments showed that as the number of links in an online document increases, one’s reading comprehension tends to decline, and as more forms of information are put on a screen, one tends to less of what we see. Carr highlighted a quote from an essay by the playwright Richard Foreman: he comes from a tradition of Western culture whereby the ideal was the complex, dense, and ‘cathedral-like’ framework of the very educated and articulate man/woman that carried inside themselves a personally developed and distinct form of the whole heritage of the West. But currently, all that we see within us their replacement of sophisticated inner density with a newer type of self-evolving under the pressure of overload of information and internet of the immediate availability.

There is nothing wrong with absorbing too much information faster and in bits and pieces. We as humans have at all times skimmed newspapers more than we have read them, and we continuously run our eyes over journals and magazines so as to obtain the gist of a piece of writing and make decisions as to whether they qualify for further/extensive reading. The capability to scan and browse is as crucial as the ability to read deeply and think attentively. What is worrying and disturbing is that skimming has grown to become our dominant form of thought. Once a means to an end, a way of identifying information for future research, it’s becoming an end in itself our liked form of both learning and evaluation. Dazzled by the reassures of web, human beings have been blinded to the damage that we are doing to our own intellectual lives and even our cultures.

I fully support Carr’s sentiments we, as a culture, read a lot more owing to the internet, however, he lamented that one’s capacity to understand a text, to make informed rich mental connections that is created when one reads deeply without getting distracted, remains largely disengaged. Moreover, I also agree with Carr’s remarks that the internet is deeply impacting our capacity to read and stimulate our thinking capacity and a scenario like this would greatly impact everyone. The above cases are a clear indication that though the internet is good, it has a dark side to it. This is so it tends to impact negatively on one’s thinking capacity, concentration levels and retention of information. If this trend goes on, then we as humans are putting ourselves at greater risks of not been able to fully realize and utilize the power of our brains, i.e. thinking capacity. By depending on the web, it is like we have delegated the role of thinking to the computers/web. Such a scenario is very dangerous since it makes us become unable to think even when it comes to making simple decisions. 

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Is Google Making Us Stupid: The Impact Of Internet On People. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from
“Is Google Making Us Stupid: The Impact Of Internet On People.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
Is Google Making Us Stupid: The Impact Of Internet On People. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Mar. 2023].
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