Technologies Like The Internet Have Caused People To Develop Short Attention Spans

1002 words - 4 pages

My hands were cool and sweaty, and my right leg started to bounce up and down. I stared with my head down, facing the table, and the light above my head cast a shadow over the object of my torture. I rubbed my hands together and shifted my weight in the seat. I felt as if I was being interrogated. I could not keep my focus. If a thought popped into my head, it was gone within an instant. My nerves were shot, and time was not on my side. Finally, a thought of courage and confidence struck my mind. “I can get through this,” I thought to myself. “It’s only an article for English.”
After reading the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr, I reviewed the scene of my earlier discomfort and noticed that the article correlated with my situation. I reread the article to get a better understanding of it. I tried to be very calm, so I could grasp the entire picture that Nicholas was creating. Nicholas’s writing seemed passionate the second time through, and I began to connect with the writer’s arguments. With some concentration and effort I eventually saw the beauty and intensity of the picture, and his point became clear. As time passes, human ingenuity extends our reach towards efficiency by changing the way we think, and our confidence in technology seems secure, until faced with the uncertainty of the future.
Newer and better systems, in the past, constructed technology that changed how work was done, and as a result eliminated deep thought. The typewriter and printing press were new technologies that increased efficiency, but required less thought to use. Carr demonstrates this idea by recounting the time when writer Friedrich Nietzsche became restricted to the confines of a typewriter and lost his creativeness as a writer. Nietzsche’s early example of dependence on technology should have been noticed, but technological growth still occurred especially in the aim toward maximum efficiency. Frederick Winslow Taylor gave a new meaning to the word efficiency. He devised a system where work had to be carried out precisely with minimal thought from the worker. Carr relates the machine-like, soulless workers in Taylor’s system to the very machines that are being worked on. Even today, Taylor’s system holds the suffering minds of robotic workers captive, while trying to achieve maximum efficiency. Striving to reach maximum efficiency changes our way of thinking, might seem like a ridiculous statement, but users of Google may be rethinking thought versus efficiency.
Present day technologies like the Internet and Google have caused people to develop short attention spans, difficulties in reading and writing, and drastic changes in the distribution of media. Nicholas Carr notes in his article that he and his friends have found that they are not able to hold or process large amounts of information. Nicholas seems to think that his mind is changing, and his friends have stated that they no longer read books,...

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