Is Google making us stupid’? “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

7 July 2016

In “Is Google making us stupid? ” Carr claims the Internet is altering the brain’s ability to concentrate and process thoughts. The internet has become our main source for information, but has shape the way we read books or other long articles. The new style of reading promotes a risk of flattening intelligence even as it offers the benefits of knowledge efficiency and immediacy. As technology continues to evolve, it will continuously strip humans from humanity.

According to Gorry, “As technology exposes us to the pain and suffering of so many others, it might also numb our emotions, distance us from our fellow humans, and attenuate our empathetic responses to their misfortunes”. Such prolonged exposure to the internet has made us inhumane of others by not considering people’s emotions. The article explains the effects of the internet has had on both Carr and his colleagues. He explains how he’s mind has become more inefficient to comprehend a lengthy article since his use of the internet.

He’s unable to concentrate on long pieces of writing and struggles to continue reading until finishing. The way he use indulge himself into books and articles is no longer there, now he must force himself to do so. In addition, he acknowledges the internet has become a useful tool to access information in such a prompt manner. However, his mind has adapt to obtain information in such a swift manner without doing much effort. His colleagues are struggling as well to stay focused after Flores 2 using the internet for long periods of time.

Carr colleagues are considered the “literacy types” but are experiencing similar problems after reading long articles. The effects of the internet doesn’t just affect Carr, but also the people that surround him. Internet has significantly diminish cognition by not being able to fully understand the article or the book being read. Carr does use anecdotes to back up his argument that the internet has negative effects on the mind, although no such evidence can be proven. However, he use a recent scientific study from the University College London as the foundation of his argument.

The five year study concerning online reading behavior prove a new form of skimming activity from users using the sites. The users jump between several sources and just read less than one or two pages in which they rarely return for a second look. Longer articles were saved to be read later, but there’s no such evidence that they took time to read it later on. The way people “read” has change, and the study proves it. The results of the study showed that readers “power browse” looking for the most important information out of the immense amount of material available.

He cites Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist to explain that “When we read online read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information. ” The statement indicates that instead of reading a book or article, people are more willing to just skim through and try to “find” an understanding of the reading rather than actually doing the effort. Reading isn’t what it used to be according to Wolf. People actually need to indulge themselves into deep reading to fully comprehend what the book/article is trying to emphasize on.

Doing so would actually force the reader to continue reading just so that he/she did not prove the author right. Carr changes the focus towards the human brain of being shaped or formed, which can be easily Flores 3 manipulated in various ways. Nonetheless, brain researchers say otherwise. James Old, a neuroscience professor at George Mason University attempts to make things more clearly by stating that nerve cells regularly form new connections and dispense old ones. As he has stated “the human brain” has the ability to “reprogram itself”, meaning that age isn’t necessarily a factor in the brain’s development.

The concept of “Intellectual technologies” was introduce to the argument, meaning that we essentially incorporate technology as part of our lives. The mechanical clock was used as an example for the concept of intellectual technology. Carr does discuss about the benefits and disadvantages from the evolving new forms of technology. The clock “helped bring into being the scientific mind and the scientific man. But it also took something away”. Now decisions are being made of when to eat, work, or sleep from technologies rather than our senses.

The internet by far has impacted cognition, as it has becomes something we can’t live without. Internet is replacing most intellectual technologies from the past such as the clock, map, printing press, typewriter, calculator, telephone, television and radio. The amount of content the internet has, is significantly diminishing concentration by having numerous distractions such as ads or impulsive persuading commercials trying to sell something. Furthermore, Carr discusses about the creators of Google’s and strives to figure out their perspective.

The creators (Sergey Brin and Larry page) acknowledge of desiring to make Google an artificial intelligence search engine. Their main focus is to make a search engine “as smart as people- or smarter”. They’re determine to create a search engine that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want. ” Their ambition to keep improving Google is quite astonishing, as they aspire to great new heights. However, Carr questions the assumption that we’ll be all “better off” Flores 4 by incorporating our brains with an artificial intelligence which can be extremely worrisome.

He explains intelligence is not something, you can try to manipulate. There’s no certain way to calculate human behavior nor intelligence. Carr does continue to reinforce that humanity is being replace by the new forms of technology that has becomes part of our lives. Carr admits he’s skeptical of excessively worrying about nothing as he tries to find flaw in each technological advancement in which we tend to glorify. He refers Plato Phaedrus, in which Socrates is concern of the development of writing because the written word would just be a substitute for the memory.

In addition, people would think themselves knowledgeable despite being unable to comprehend the new gain knowledge. The 15th century Italian editor Hieronimo Squarciafico’s concerns about printed works were inaccurate as printed works became a beneficial part of human knowledge. The internet has become our main source of information, but we losing ourselves at the same time. As Gorry stated “Technology is replacing the traditional social structures of the face-to-face community with more-fluid electronic arenas for gossip, preening, and posturing,”.

Social interaction has decrease over the past few years since the introduction of the cell phone. People are least likely to talk face-to-face and more easily text one another back and forward. As a result, people lack communication skills in which they are crucial to build relationships. The title of Carr’s article is the most revealing clue for the entire argument he is trying to make. “Is google making us stupid? ” The obvious answer might be that Google provides us with an instant access to all types of information from a variety of sources.

As a result, we are becoming too use to being able to access information faster and more conveniently. Likewise, the future of technology will continue to evolve as technology importance increases. We don’t know what the internet may become in the future, and how it could make us more like computers. But, Carr does fear that we have lost the ability of deep critical thinking. In essence the internet immersion has dramatically affect us by making us become more machine-like than machines themselves.

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