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The Net And Its Harmful Impacts

1510 words - 7 pages

Aly Chandler
Kathryn Hinds
English 1101
9-15-13
The Net and Its Harmful Impacts
Technology today is advancing at a rapid rate, causing society to immerse itself deeper and deeper into the trap of “artificial intelligence” (615). “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” is an article written by Nicholas Carr that conveys his own feelings and concerns about the internet and how it effects society. I would consider this article an argument based on the strong awareness he shows about the consequences of too much internet usage. According to Carr, with today’s technology, “research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes” (609-610). The fact ...view middle of the document...

I grew up around the time industrial science was thriving. What I did not realize back then is just how much these technological advantages would change the world one day. In present day society I am seeing more and more of the public’s reliance on computers and the conveniences they bring us. Many might look at this as a great device, but it is a scary thought knowing how much online networks are becoming a part of peoples’ lives, almost as if it is being infused to their cultures. Our minds are now dependent on the internet, its shortcuts, and easy ways of communication. We are starting to lose out natural sense of knowledge. In Carr’s article, he mentions a man name Bruce Friedman, a blogger on computers in medicine (610). Friedman describes his own prejudicial experiences by “almost totally losing the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the Web or in print” (610). This is just one example of how harmful technology can be. Carr makes a reasonable point by stating, “a few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks and I’ve got the telltale fact or pith quote I was after” and even having the advantage of “reading and writing emails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping form link to link to link” all at the same time (610). All of these resources indeed improve the ways of the industrial and technological world, but if we are not careful there is a chance that we will end up, in a metaphorical sense, turning into “computers” ourselves. Carr is not the only one whose “mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles,” I can even admit feeling this way at times and I witness it all around me as well (610).
Mary-anne Wolf, a developmental psychologist and author gives her opinion on the “Science of the Reading Brain” (611). I find the points she makes very true because if our world begins to solely rely on the computer or Web to do all calculation, research, and communication, then we as humans will lose all natural, physical abilities when it comes to using our brains’ full potential. In the article, Carr states, “Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that put ‘efficiency’ and ‘immediacy’ above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace” (611). Wolf is right in the sense that we are beginning to lose the skills we once acquired. For example, the printing press was once a societal pleaser and accepted as efficient enough worldwide. Once the enhancement of technology tool place it completely overruled the authentic tools that once used to actually stimulate and challenge our minds. Wolf adds, “When we read online we tend to become ‘mere decoders of information’ and our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we...

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