In his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr explains his point of view of how the brain is being reprogramed due to technology. He states that the Internet changes how we receive and process information and that surfing the web takes almost no concentration and that is why we lose focus easily. Carr gives his experiences as an example in how he is no longer able to keep concentration to even complete reading an article. His main point is that search engines, like Google, and the internet in general is damaging our ability to think, and that we were probably better in the past when reading was done using books. Through out my research I was able to find that Carr’s point of view is erroneous.
Some of the benefits to using Google custom search, according to Stanford University, are relevancy, the ability to search for videos and audio content as well as PDF, .doc and .ppt files, the ability to create advance custom searches from domain outside of stanford.edu .
Valerie Conners in her article, “Why does Nicholas Carr think Google is making us stupid? Points out a very interesting neuroscience study finding done by UCLA in 2008. According to the study older adults that used and researched the Internet increased brain activity, which the researchers deducted that could ultimately improve brain function. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans taken of the participant’s brains both while reading and then when searching in the Internet, scientists found that more areas of the brain showed more activity during the internet searches than while reading and specifically the brain was stimulated more in the areas related to complex reasoning .
Adam Clark in his article, “Google is Making Us Stupid and Smart at the Same Time? Challenge Carr’s ideas bout the influence of the Internet and search engines in our brain. Clark brings 3 main points to support his point of view. First, “Search engines are rerouting our memory,” Clark says that we are not losing our ability to remember things, instead the Internet is changing how we store information in our brain, basically how we remember things. He says that the Internet is giving us tools to remember where to find information that has been forgotten. Second, “Certain types of memory are improving,” Clark states that when are asked a question instead of looking for an answer our most obvious thought process is going to be, how are we going to find the answer?
He points out that at this moment people are already thinking of keywords for searching in the Internet the answer. Third, “Not using Google makes you stupid, too,” Clark uses the same study from UCLA done in 2008 that found that Internet use increases more brain activity that traditional reading. Clark brings an interesting point about multitasking. According to his article, he says that according to scientists, short-term memories while multitasking deteriorates and this is also related to distractions, pretty much to the ones we wind all the time while searching in the internet .
Andrew Sullivan in his article, “ Google is giving us pond-skater minds,” states the importance and all the benefits of Google. He says that in the past he used to keep stacks of papers in order to complete a research or write an article. Also, he highlighted the importance of him having a good memory just to try to remember where al the relevant information was and that he spent countless and useless time reading irrelevant information. He says now all he has to do is right-click and type a few words and all the information he wants he can get it instantly. Sullivan states that he does hundreds of blog posts a week and that now he is better shape than before because he is instantly informed.
He also points out that the way he thinks has changed. He is able to process information faster and absorb multiple resources of information simultaneously. He also points out the issue of multitasking in how he gets distracted by all the resources available through the Internet. He says that we might be loosing some type of focus on how we used to read books before but that everything is due to the overwhelming resources available to us and that we will eventually adapt and learn to be more efficient with manipulating information .
In conclusion I think Carr has some valid points in worrying about changes in our thinking process. I believe our thinking process and learning process is changing for good. I don’t agree in his main point that Google is not benefiting us. I think Google is a limitless tool that allows us now to find information quicker and more efficient than traditional book reading methods. I do believe there are some disadvantages that come with online research and using search engines like Google. We sometimes let ourselves lose concentration and focus while surfing the web, I do it too, but in turn we have at our hands so much research resources and knowledge that the benefits outweighs tremendously this minor road blocks. I know in the future we are going to learn how to use online resources better and learn how not get distracted. At the end of the day Google is making us smarter and better researchers.
1. “What are some of the benefits to using Google Custom Search?” Home. Stanford University, n.d. Web. 21 June 2014. . 2. Conners, Valerie. “Why does Nicholas Carr think Google is making us stupid? – Curiosity.” Curiosity. Discovery, n.d. Web. 21 June 2014. . 3. Clark Estes, Adam. “Google Is Making Us Stupid and Smart at the Same Time?.” The Wire. The Wire, 15 July 2011. Web. 21 June 2014. . 4. Sullivan, Andre. “Google is giving us pond-skater minds.” Google is giving us pond-skater minds. Times Online, 15 June 2008. Web. 21 June 2014. .