In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr argues that our ability to focus and think critically is hindered and the Internet appears to be the cause. Carr conveys the thought that people who use the Internet on a daily basis tend to have a lack of concentration and lack of contemplation. He shows this through studies, his personal experiences and through other methods.
Is people’s concentration really decreasing due to the Internet? Nicholas Carr argues that this is true. He uses his personal experiences, studies and others experiences to help support his thinking. Carr tells readers of how he has been noticing changes in the way he thinks. He begins to explain how reading has become more and more difficult for him and how it takes him much longer to really understand long articles or books. Carr explains how the Internet makes finding information very quick and simple; which trains our brain, over time, to take in information quickly and not slowly.
Is Google Making Us Stupid Summary
He uses Scott Karp’s and Bruce Friedman’s encounters with this to help support his idea. Carr finds a study done by scholars at the University College London. This study explains how when people use the Internet, we do not fully read articles, we skim them. Carr points out how the human brain is constantly changing and he believes that this could be one of the reasons why the Internet could be influencing the way we think.
Our lack of contemplation could also be another affect the Internet has on people’s brains. Carr shows us how outside media has also started to transform itself around how the Internet has tweaked our minds to work. He begins with explaining the experiment that Fredrick Winslow Taylor conducted to help improve factory productivity. Carr explains how his method became very popular and soon affected how everything worked. People used his method to ensure that things would get done at the highest haste, competency and production.
Carr then comments on how the Internet has used this method to redesign itself. Many programmers intent is to find the “one best method” for the Internet. Carr describes how many people believe that Googleplex, the headquarters of Google, is kind of like the Internets high church. He mentions how Google’s mission is to organize all information and make it accessible to everyone universally. Carr then states how Google’s end goal is to make the Internet into an artificial intelligence. Carr ends with how many people believe and compare our brains to old outdated computers.
Carr argues the fact that although the Internet may be useful, your get a much different outcome when deep reading then when skimming over words written on a computer screen. He explains how we are slowly becoming machine like and slowly but surely we are relying on the Internet and our intelligence will soon be nothing because we will rely on artificial intelligence.
- Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York, W.W. Norton, 2010.
- “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_Google_Making_Us_Stupid%3F.
- Russell, Jesse, and Ronald Cohn. Is Google Making Us Stupid? Place of Publication Not Identified, Book On Demand Ltd, 2012.