Nicholas Carr argues in his article “Is Google making us stupid? That internet and other technologies are making the modern generation lazy. In his article, we have seen certain biasness towards literary reading. According to Carr, the reading done on internet is of shallow nature in comparison with printed books that gives reader a more intense and sustained knowledge. He claims that we skim online to quickly find the information while giving no attention to the written language. Consequently, we have developed no appreciation for writing as an Art.
Carr also states that the overflow of information on the internet has hampered our cognition skills. He brings up the facts by discussing about a study conducted in London, the results significantly suggested that internet readers are not reading traditionally and do not absorb the text while reading. He even states about his own memory that it is getting affected by speeding on the internet. On the internet, we jump from one page to another, never fully understanding what is written. Carr also backs his statement by the studies conducted. The study showed that people now exhibit a form of skimming activity. People now do not feel like reading a full article or story, they just go through one or two pages and then move to the next.
In his article, Nicholas Carr said absolutely correct about our altered reading and thinking habits, but I personally do not agree on his statement about the damage internet has done to our cognition. Yes, we agree that internet has altered or changed our cognition habits, but it does not prove any damage done. According to latest studies, we are not losing our ability to remember things. Rather, internet is changing how we remember. If people are recalling less information, then they are able to remember where to find the information they have forgotten.
Contradicting with Carr, I would say that internet has helped us to develop different types of memory capabilities. For Instance, if someone asks you the question that how many national flags have just one color, do you first think about the actual flags? Or your brain jumps instantly on how to find it? If you are a savvy Google user, you probably might have already gathered the related keywords. Gary Small, a neuroscience professor at UCLA said, “The brain is very specialized in its circuitry and if you repeat mental tasks over and over it will strengthen certain neural circuits and ignore others”.
A study conducted at UCLA’s Memory and aging center on how internet usage affects memory and cognition; they split a group of experienced and inexperienced internet users, then used MRI scans to see how their brain works while reading books or searching the internet. In the end, experienced internet users showed increased brain activity with complex reasoning and more advanced decision-making skills. In this study inexperienced internet users lagged behind.
The world has become a fast place to live and require quick answers for the survival. However, we must never forget our past and should step back and look at where this has brought us. Having quick access to information has improved our world dramatically. Modern technologies have really revolutionized the way of living and have discovered countless new ways to get clean energy. Yes, we accept that our writing may be less poetic, but technology is moving our world in a positive direction. In short, we can state that internet technologies have reshaped our brain and intellect in a better way rather than bad way.