In the essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” the author Nicholas Carr argues that the Internet has detrimental effects by altering the way we comprehend and the way our brain functions. Carr’s mind is changing because he is not thinking the way he used to think. He used to love reading books and articles, but now he can barely get through two or three pages because his “concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages” (Carr 138). Reading a printed media has become a struggle since Carr is losing the ability to focus on deep thinking. He just skims through the text without actually thoroughly reading it. In reality, we have to struggle to stay focused in a long piece of writing because we use the web so much.
Carr believes that deep reading is indistinguishable from deep thinking. However, the Internet does all the thinking for us with a great database of information that can answer all of our questions and many sources online with short passages of text. Everything that the Internet does has become a “shortcut,” so the printed media has to reach those expectations now. Our brain relies on the Internet so much that it starts draining out our ability to think independently. Therefore, according to Carr, the Internet has made him feel “an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with [his] brain…” (Carr 138). Although the Internet can affect our brains, it has made a huge impact on our daily lives by providing easy and responsive communication among peers and a secure access to information.
The Internet does change our thinking and our brains, but in a positive way. There are many advantages, which is why the Internet plays a part of our lives. Communication has been easier for mostly everyone because in modern society people always go on social media to socialize with others and update their statuses about what they are doing. Twitter is one of the most popular social media to keep people more cognitive on what is happening around the world. For example, news about cops killing innocent people is spiraling all over Twitter. People are able to share their opinion and take action on this dire news. In the essay “Yes, People Still Read, but Now it’s Social,” Steven Johnson disagrees with Carr’s argument because he believes the Internet has “emerged from a more connective space….” (Johnson 138). Johnson communicates online by “[exchanging] information with hundreds of people in a single day…” (Johnson 147). He concedes that there are downfalls of using the Internet because we are “reading slightly fewer long-form narratives and arguments than we did fifty years ago” (Johnson 138).
However, we are “exponentially more connected” to everyone around us (Johnson 138). Even though the Internet can affect the way we interact, we usually do not have to use one hundred percent of our concentration during the day. With the ubiquity of the Internet, it has opened up new horizons for fields of expertise especially in the healthcare field. Physicians have a greater access to medical resources. Doctors are allowed to communicate with each other around the world, finding ways to cure patients’ diagnoses and treatments. When using social media, communication is key for people that feel forlornly because it helps them connect with others. Social networking sites benefits us by mingling with other people easily in a more comfortable way instead of being pressured to talk to them face to face. This can help us keep in contact with family relatives, who live far away, or childhood friends. Joining a community is not easy to do without the Internet.
Accessing information easily is another big advantage of the Internet. Online reference books and dictionaries are replacing bookshops and libraries. For education, students are more engaged to online learning. Rather than taking most of the time searching the library, people can now look up the book online, which makes everything go by quickly. It would waste less of their time instead of seeking for the actual hardcover book. With the Internet, everything we need to know or want to know is on there. Newspaper sites are more usable than the actual newspaper now because newspaper sites are more up-to-date. People can search for old articles by going on the archives. There are also many ads online and some will allow us to order products instead of having to wait in line at the store. Thousands of reliable resources, such as Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, etc., are useful in today’s society because these sites are convenient to look up anything swiftly.
According to Huffington Post, the article “This is How the Internet is Rewiring Your Brain,” explains a fact that “the Internet can actually boost brain function” especially for middle-aged and older adults. From my experience, I feel like I still have the cognition to think for myself when using these reliable resources, like writing a report. I am able to find copious amount of useful information that can assists me in obtaining ideas on how I want my essay to turn out. These reliable resources also guide me to study for my midterms because of all the helpful websites that have study materials. Without the Internet, my brain would not function well enough to think individually.
In conclusion, the Internet plays an important role in our lives by improving communication and accessing information in a blink of an eye. Even though others can be skeptical on the effects of Internet, it does not guarantee that the Internet can make us “stupid” or “smarter” in our own way.” Communicating through the Internet is faster than a letter, cheaper than a telephone, and easier than a library. Finding more information is “comfortable” because there are huge amounts of information on every topic that you are searching for. Everything that we need to know is through the Internet and that is how society is rapidly changing from books to the Internet. In this essay, Nicholas Carr emphasizes that the Internet is making a negative impact in our brain. Using the Internet would depend on the person and how it would affect their brain to either function well or in an “uncomfortable sense” (Carr 138).