“Ok Google…What Are Good Blog Titles?”: Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?

Just before I started this blog, I did the following: Go to Facebook, liked three pictures, jump to Twitter, complained about it, run over to Reddit, flipped through the site until guilt settled in, googled “signs of guilt”, watched TED videos on guilt, looped back to Facebook, learned a bit a code, and finally to the blog. What’s wrong with me!?

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I have to write a blog post about the internet…oh the humanity!

Nicholas Carr, a writer from The Atlantic, wrote an article titled Is Google Making Us Stupid?Even though it puts Google in the spotlight, the article concentrates on the internet as a whole. Over the beginning paragraphs, he states multiple claims about how the internet itself has been changing his own ability of reading and comprehending material. In one instance, he writes how “Immersing [himself] in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy,” then concludes that now he “get[s] fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking something else to do.” Wow, he might be right! Wait, let me look up “fidgety” real quick. I’m just kidding. So is he right, are we getting stupid? Well, the obvious answer is……

Maybe…

The internet is home to amazing educational resources. If you want to learn something, you can find it on the web. With websites like Codecademy, Duolingo, and Khan Academy, educational material is literally at your finger tips. There is even multitude of college information that can be accessed. MIT’s OpenCourseWare allows you to partake in a course through the internet for free. If you can take that to your advantage, you can learn college level material without even going to college. You can even learn things through YouTube. Lectures and how-to videos span all over YouTube. Watch this video of the creator of Khan Academy how online videos have revolutionized education.

However, with all this information, comes an issue. As Carr stated, focus has been completely altered. In the article In Defense of Distraction by Sam Anderson (great article by the way), he writes how the polymath economist Herbert A. Simon once said that “information consumes attention.” This statement is quite apparent in today’s society. The internet has anything you want to read and the human mind wants to gain all of it  and all at once. It’s so hard to focus on writing an E-mail when you know of an useful article as well as that cat video that you found on that spoof website. Your mind wants more information, no matter if it’s educational or not, and will bug you until you feed it. However, is that much of a problem? Anderson continues the article explaining how this lack of focus and increase of “ADHD” prowess is a good thing allowing this generation to jump from one action to another easily.

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Um, that’s a lot of tabs…and it’s not all relevant…

No matter what view point you have on the internet, take another major medium for example. When the T.V. came out, people worried that it would rot our brains and destroy the intellect basis of that growing generation. Did that happen?

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