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Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid”

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Is Google Making Us Stupid
The internet is an important tool in our search for knowledge. Google and other search engines gives us an opportunity to find instant information about anything and, therefore, get almost instant knowledge on any topic. Critics have accused computers of making us dumber since they were developed. Nicholas Carr argues that by using the internet, we are becoming more superficial in our thinking. He adds that the internet gets the information replaced by knowledge and the efficiency – by contemplation. I believe, that Google, when used well, can make us smarter because we get creative in the ways we use it to find useful information.
Nicholas Carr, a contributor for the Atlantic, argues in the Atlantic Online article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” that the internet is affecting our thinking capacity. He makes the argument that reading books is way better than reading online because it is more thought provoking. He adds that reading online is changing the way we are thinking for the worst. Like other critics, he sees the web as a loss and not a gain. However, his criticism is superficial and completely misses the impact of the web. Although the internet is changing us, I believe it is for the better. Sherry Turkle, a contributor to The Chronicle Review, wrote in her article titled ‘How Computers Change the Way We Think,’ that through computer technology, students “…are learning new ways to think about what it means to know and understand” CITATION Tur04 p 1 l 2057 (Turkle 1).

Wait! Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid” paper is just an example!

She added that change is not determined by technology; rather, it sways us into certain directions. The choice we eventually make is down to human personality and not the technology. Carr is also wrong when he purports that the vast network of information accessed on the internet is harmful. What he fails to notice is that although there is a vast amount of information, the user does not necessarily try to access it all at a go. Just like in the traditional reading, we only focus on what interests and is useful to us.
Carr’s skepticism about the internet borders unnecessary paranoia. He argues that the reason behind Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s idea to turn Google into an AI is equal to replacing our brains with mechanical forms. According to him, we humans think using Google, which is false. Sherry Turkle points out that the internet cannot be the reason for lower intellectual standards CITATION Tur04 p 2 l 2057 (Turkle 2). She adds that the misuse of the internet is a symptom of low thinking capacity. Intelligence is genetically determined, and therefore, to say that a search engine is the cause of low thinking capacity is a totally misplaced argument. What Google founders intend to do is to create a platform where, guided by our own intellect, we will be able to access information that interests us.
Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” does bring up some valid points. It is true that reading a book hasn’t become easier with the introduction of search engines like Google. One might find himself skimming through web pages without focus. William Gibson, in his article, in New York Times, titled ‘The Net is a Waste of Time’ writes that the internet ‘…offers us the opportunity to waste time, to wander aimlessly, to daydream about the countless other lives…’ CITATION Gib96 p 3 l 2057 (Gibson 3). It is true that the content on information provided by the internet may be overwhelming. However, I still maintain that Google, when used appropriately, makes things easier for the user regarding access to information but ultimately does not make them more stupid.

Works Cited
BIBLIOGRAPHY Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid.” n.d. University of Oslo. http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/ifi/INF3700/v12/undervisningsmateriale/Is%20Google%20Making%20Us%20Stupid.pdf. 8 December 2015.
Gibson, William. “The Net is a Waste of Time.” The New York Tmes 14 July 1996. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/14/magazine/the-net-is-a-waste-of-time.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm.
Turkle, Sherry. “How Computers Change the Way We Think.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 50(21) (2004): B26. http://chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i21/21b02601.htm.

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