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The advancement of technology is rapid. It seems like a new model of the iPhone gets released every day. Technology is also always evolving. New smart TVs, self-driving cars, touch screen computers, and everything else tech is repeatedly updated. So many new things in such a little time making it hard for us to stay away from these creations. Technology is so convenient; Computers to be specific, can do any and everything we want them to do. We can access tv shows, play games, read books, and have our questions answered within a matter of seconds, but the question is, is this a blessing or a curse? In his article ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’, Nicholas Carr argues that people rely so much on the internet and search engines like Google that it hinders them to do things that used to come easy. ‘Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a jet ski.’ Said Carr (p426). He states that he used to be able to easily read long pieces of texts and comprehend them, but now he can barely get through a passage. Carr believes that we are very dependent on the internet and that this is weakening our reading and writing skills and how we receive information.
So ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’ It is safe to assume that Carr will answer yes to this question, but I disagree. Although, Carr has a great point that he and so many other authors who write about this topic make, He kind of misses the mark as well. The dart hit the board, but it wasn’t a bullseye. Yes, the frequent utilization of the internet does decrease our ability to deeply read and engage in stories. Yes, it may induce a level of laziness that didn’t exist before and Yes, it may be detrimental to the future of reading and writing. But Carr implies that the thing to fault for this is the Internet. He blatantly blames it by saying ‘And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation.’ Carr fails to realize that what he seems to be doing is allowing this to happen. He mentioned in his essay that he spent a long time surfing the internet clicking from link to link and doing research that would take days in minutes (p425). Carr has only himself to blame as do others for their indulgence in the ‘Net’ as he called it. How can one argue that the use of the internet is damaging to cognition, but it’s something that they resort to in their daily lives? Many of us lack self-discipline; if people knew how to limit themselves and their internet use then there wouldn’t be a problem. Carr sounds a little ungrateful, the Internet was made to make things easier and more convenient, but here he is upset that he can only skim through content instead of deeply reading it like how he used to when in fact that’s kind of the point of it. In the excerpt from the study conducted by pupils from University College London, it says ‘… indeed there are signs that new forms of ‘reading’ are emerging as users ‘power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages, and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.’
Things are constantly changing and the way of reading just happens to be one of them. Carr must accept the fact that this is the new way of learning, it may be different from what he’s used to, but this is how the future generations will learn. Also, Carr talks about many problems with the frequent usage of the internet, but he offers no solutions. Carr seems very upset that the internet has sort of alternated the way he used to read but he gives no suggestions on what to do about it. Google isn’t making us stupid; in fact, it’s there to do the opposite. We need to take accountability for even allowing this question to be up for debate.
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