In the article by Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Carr points out numerous drawbacks to today’s technology and as well as a useful tool to our society. Of course this topic of discussion has various opinions and viewpoints on whether technology is coming our aid or hurting us more in today’s world. I believe technology is in fact hurting us in some categories, but ultimately I believe that it is ultimately helping us grow as people and improving society as a whole.
Nicholas Carr’s whole argument about how the internet is hurting us and making the use of our own knowledge become less of a factor is hard to believe looking at the resources it provides to us today. Google, Wikipedia, online databases, and school libraries are all being put on the internet to serve accessible information. Colleges are even using the internet for online courses and e-mail services to communicate with students. The internet is has also brought us the ability to research and communicate across various cultures without actually having to travel to those locations to see them first hand. Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are a very good examples of a communication tool if they are used in the correct fashion. Websites like these allow for people to read about a topic or issue and discuss it with people all over the world, even the people that are being affected.
Blogs, discussion boards, and pictures are shared on the web with the rest of the world to see and act upon. Carr fails to mention the use of the web in this way in his article. What Carr doesn’t realize is that the internet is an endless pit of information and is available to everyone, just not always necessarily accessed by users. We are attracted to what we are interested in and what is the most useful to us on the internet. Carr mentions that “power browsing” is making us avoid the traditional way of online reading by giving us quick wins. The use of hyperlinks allow for us to access different resources by helping a person gain more information and understand it better. This allows for users to access information quicker, allowing them to soak up information, and making them have more knowledge on the topic making them less stupid.
Carr makes the argument that “society is continuously being shaped by new technology”. I agree with this statement, but I think it is more or less society adapts to the new technology being introduced to us and what it has to offer. Our brains don’t have to change for the internet, they tend to develop with it. Being brought up with technology, it is easy to understand and utilize what it has to offer. On the other hand, older generations may have a hard time with it due to it being to different to handle well. The amount of information may be too difficult to comprehend and may become a cohesive relationship. I have always been able to find the information that I’m seeking and use it to my liking. It’s just a matter of focus and not becoming overwhelmed.
Although technology and the use of the web are useful, there are always downfalls to such great things. Carr mentions that “as we become more reliant on computers to meditate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence”, I agree with this statement in the fact that humans rely heavily on technology to communicate and entertain us. We have so much information at our fingertips that it almost seems silly to pick up a book and actually research something when you can just type it into a search engine and get results in lightning speed.
My parents and elders have told me that technology is making us anti-social and deteriorating our communication skills. The use of text messaging seems to be the one that is most at fault for this. In today’s culture, talking on the phone and in person is becoming a struggle for most people, especially teens and young adults. We are so use to typing messages back and forth to one another that we lose the simple communication skills by not physically talking to them. There is a lot of things that a text message can’t convey to people like talking can such as emotion and clarity.
In conclusion, it’s all about not becoming too overwhelmed, use resources and the internet responsibly, and use them to our advantage. Carr misses the point in that our abilities for deep thinking are not ruined by the internet but expressed and improved. To learn about a certain subject, you don’t have to enroll into a college course. You don’t need a plane ticket to learn about different cultures. This is information at your fingertips with the use of the internet and it’s your responsibility and prerogative to use it wisely and to your advantage.