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Is Google Making Us Stupid?, By Nicholas Carr

1378 words - 6 pages

The internet is our conduit for accessing a wide variety of information. In his article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” Nicholas Carr discusses how the use of the internet affects our thought process in being unable to focus on books or longer pieces of writing. The author feels that “someone, or something, has been tinkering with [his] brain” over the past few years (Carr 731). While he was easily able to delve into books and longer articles, Carr noticed a change in his research techniques after starting to use the internet. He found that his “concentration often [started] to drift after two or three pages” and it was a struggle to go back to the text (Carr 732). His assertion is that the neural circuits in his brain have changed as a result of surfing endlessly on the internet doing research. He supports this statement by explaining how his fellow writers have had similar experiences in being unable to maintain their concentrations. In analyzing Carr’s argument, I disagree that the internet is slowly degrading our capacity for deep reading and thinking, thereby making us dumber. The Web and Google, indeed, are making us smarter by allowing us access to information through a rapid exchange of ideas and promoting the creativity and individualization of learning.
With one easy click on the search button, Google grants entry to a reservoir of information for our use. Carr acknowledges that the internet “has been a godsend to [him] as a writer” because of the ease of finding information rapidly (Carr 732). Before, he would spend days searching through lengthy articles for the same material. Thus, web-browsing proves that not only is the internet useful for finding relevant information, but it is a time-saving tool. In today’s generation especially, students do not have the time to spend countless hours swimming through books to find information that is actually pertinent to what they are searching. What Google does is ease the life of students by granting them access to resources such as articles, books, websites, and other types of media, which saves their time and makes their busy lives more manageable (Wright 370). They get their information, and they get it fast. This extra time saved by using the Web provides students with the time to discover more information about a specific subject in order to deepen their knowledge. Furthermore, students are able to increase their intelligence when they obtain more information in a shorter period of time instead of spending hours in a book.
Carr’s premise is that the Web is interfering with our ability to focus on lengthy material. On the contrary, the internet is actually aiding our ability to focus on reading. This holds true for younger children, who are known as the digital natives in our generation. In a research conducted by The National Center for Education shows that “by altering the mode of reading material from traditional paper-based reading to online reading,” the interest of elementary...

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