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Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Essay by   •  February 26, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,102 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,407 Views

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Is Google Making us Stupid?

Bill Gates stated, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction." Over the years Google has developed from a simple search engine on the Web to the primary source of information for the majority of the world. Within the article Is Google Making us Stupid, by Nicholas Carr, the author showcases how this search engine has reprogrammed our brain to skim information and not actually retain any of the knowledge. As a community we have never relied on something so greatly and in return we find ourselves less likely to concentrate on a single piece of writing at one time. The simplicity of the Internet affects who we are and how we act.

Carr begins with his personal experiences with the Internet and how it has affected his reading skills. He discovers he has a shortened attention span than he did years ago. This cause is linked to some type of greater effect that is slowly changing how we perceive information. Now, with Google and other search engines you have access to information and research on the World Wide Web within seconds of inquiry. The author gives details on how current technology is limitless information at your fingertips. Bruce Friedman, a popular blogger said that even he finds it difficult to retain information that is on the web. Reading has become a chore and extremely difficult to focus on. Studies show that most people read one or two pages of online articles and then change their location. It's because of the access to so many texts at once we find ourselves unable to concentrate solely on one piece.

Although we are reading more today than we would have in the 1970s, it's a different kind of reading. We aren't necessarily retaining any of this information. Reading is not in fact a natural human characteristic, it's more complicated: our brain has to decode symbols and translate it into the language that we know and understand. Before the use of the World Wide Web we had access to several forms of resources. Because of this we rely solely on Internet making us that much more susceptible to its mind numbing.

The author has several extremely strong points that help support his claim. For instance, he stresses the "efficiency" and "immediacy" of Google. He uses these examples to prove that our society relies completely on the effectiveness and speed of the search engine. We are losing certain problem solving skills, which were once learned over time from old school research processes. Thus formulating the idea of where and how we have lost intelligence from Google. Also, this is a relatable and relevant issue our generation is affected by. We have been exposed to this form of research at such a young age, which clearly has spoiled our youth. With so much compliance and attachment on Google, it's questionable what would happen if it ceased to exist.

Carr unfortunately gets off track and loses his audience quickly. Some of the weaker points the author uses to help support his thesis were his uses of personal experiences as main sources. The author relies on personal



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