Explaining How Technologies Reprogram Individuals Thinking in Grasping Information In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, an Article by Nicholas Carr

In the article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr explains how these intellectual technologies reprogram the way an individual thinks. The Internet has replaced many other information processing devices, including “the clock, printing press, typewriter, calculator, telephone, radio, and television” (Carr 67). As a result, people have become lazy as they exclusively use the Internet to obtain information. Intellectual technologies shape the world that we live by changing the way we obtain and analyze information, influence us, and it is in every aspect in life. since the Internet reduces our ability to concentrate, understand information, and socialize and it is potentially troubling to our brains.

To begin with, the Internet is shaping the world that we live in by changing the way that we obtain information. Carr states, “I’ve had an uncomfortable sense, that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain…reprogramming the memory” (Carr 67). The mind is changing, and the person is not thinking the way he used to think. In the past, an individual would be able to easily read through a lengthy book and comprehend it. Nowadays, it is a struggle to even read through a short snippet article. As a result of the Internet, an individual’s concentration would start to drift away after reading a short article; “the deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle” (Carr 67).

The Internet is changing our memory. By not regularly using our brains for deep concentrated thoughts, our minds begin to soften and are not able to contain information. If information is not readily available, an individual would not go to a library to gather information; instead he would use a Google search to find out all the information. But the information may not be accurate or complete. Also, the mind would not be as strong “indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users are power browse” (Carr 69). The reader begins to avoid reading in the traditional sense, for example, they use the web browser to quickly find information. The mind becomes too lazy to read the entire article; and functions on the computer are making it accessible to get the information without the need to read entire article.

Even though the Internet is changing the way that we obtain information it is capable of being easily changed or influenced. The Brain is like a sponge and absorbs anything and everything that it sees and views. Carr states, that the human brain is almost infinitely malleable; “The brain, according to [James] Olds “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions” (Carr 70). The brain functions in different ways every time we use the Internet. The brain absorbs it, then you brain works and you use the information in a new way.

Regularly using the Internet has caused individuals to translate symbols into words. Carr illustrates this concept using Friedrich Nietzche’s usage of the typewriter. The typewriter began to affect Friedrich Nietzche’s style in writing. (Carr 69). Friedrich Nietzche’s vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page became difficult. Carr argues that the technologies take part in forming the thoughts of the human brain. Also, in discussing the mechanical clock, Carr showed how an individual stopped listening to his own senses to decide when to eat, work, sleep, or rather obeying the clock. (Carr 70).

Although the mechanical clock help connect the scientific mind and the scientific man, it also took something away. For example, imagine see a person with long brown hair the brain absorbs this and keeps in it in the back of the mind. Next time you see someone with long brown hair you will always remember him or her. The brain and internet work like that you see something you absorb it and you will always remember it in the back of you’re.

One of the troubles that internet has brought on is the change from reading to skimming. Carr mentions how the reader does not read more than one or two paragraphs of a page on the web browser before moving onto another. (Carr 71). People have learned to skim instead of reading deeply. Carr used Taylor’s treatise The Principles of Scientific Management, to identify the “one best method” of work and was applied to all manual labor. (Carr 71). Google and other search engines have developed a web page that gathers information and as a result controls the way people find information and meaning from the web pages. Carr also explains how an individual should focus on the quality of what he is reading instead of the amount of information he is reading.

Reading today comes from text messages, emails, facebook, and twitter. These mediums changed the way people read and weaken their capacity for deep reading. The impact of the Internet has changed the depth of our vocabulary. When it comes to the way we communicate, the internet has influenced our vocabulary. The Internet has began to use different spelling and abbreviations and more concise. The Internet has rewired our brain. The Internet is also affecting the way we remember things. Without a doubt the time we spend online changes our brains.

Our brains are highly plastic and Internet has sacrificed our ability to read and think deeply. These internet technologies reroute our mental capacity, diminishing our ability to concentrate. The Internet is negatively affecting our mind and mental capacity. Carr says, “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I think has changed?” (Carr 68). Also, Maryanne Wolf the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of Reading Brain, The brain has the ability to reprogram itself.

Concentration is really effected by internet. Carr states, “The net shapes the process of thought and what the net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation” (Carr 68). The human brain is a sort of computer when it is looking for keywords and phrases rather than a meaning.

The Internet controls what our mind observes. For example, the Internet doesn’t give you the total picture; instead it cuts out some of the information. The Internet only lets you see what the author or search engine wants you to observe. Unlike books, which show you a topic that has been extensively analyzed, the internet shortens the available information into a tripped webpage. Carr says, “the kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words, but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds” (Carr 73).

People no longer are reading, instead they are just surfing the Internet. Carr argues that the Internets affects an individual’s cognition and decreases their ability to concentrate and contemplate on information. Carr acknowledges that a common thought is that search engines, such as Google, provide an efficient and fast way of processing information, which in turn makes people more “productive” thinkers. (Carr 73).

Carr concludes that the Net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure. Carr shows how little attention has been given to describe how the Internet is reprogramming us. Very little talk is about how the Internet shapes the way society grasps information. For example, newspapers have shortened their articles and introduced capsule summaries in order to adapt to society’s new expectations.

Also, television programs now add text crawls and pop-up ads. Carr uses The New York Times article to show how Internet reprogrammed the way we gather information. The Internet has changed the world in so many ways. Although there are advantages and disadvantages to the Internet, one thing is for sure, the Internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The World Wide Web has changed the world. The Internet is very popular and has touched every aspect of life. As technology advances, the Internet will.

Works Cited

  1. Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The New Humanities Reader. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2012. 66-74. Print.

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