14 February 2018
The Internet’s Effect On our Minds
Technology has grown to become a major part of our everyday lives. In his essay, “Is Google making us stupid?”, Nicholas Carr argues that although the internet is providing us with many benefits, it is negatively changing the way we think. I agree with most of Carr’s views because I have found them to be true in my own life; however, I think that some of the changes our brains are going through are positive.
Carr acknowledges that the internet is useful because it allows its users to have access to an unlimited amount of information; however, he claims that this access is altering the way we think. He says that the internet has made his attention span shorter which, in turn, has influenced his ability to read and deeply process information. In his essay, Carr shares some stories of those who have also experienced a mental change due to the internet. Bruce Friedman, a pathologist and blogger, states that:
I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print… I can’t read War and Peace anymore. I’ve lost the ability to that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it. (qtd. in Carr, 316)
In other words, the internet has affected Friedman’s thinking so much that he can barely muster the amount of concentration it takes to read and digest a long piece of writing.
Carr also argues that the internet is “rewiring’ our brains. According to a professor of neuroscience, James Old, the brain can change, even when a person is an adult. Scholars from University College London have found through their research that people often skim through many different types of articles and rarely read through them (316). In short, this new type of reading could be a result of our brains changing to expect instant access to information.
I agree with Carr’s view that the internet is changing us; however, I don’t necessarily think that the change is completely...