For one of my English classes this semester (one that deals with digital literacy’s) we were instructed to read an article by Nichols Carr titled “Is Google Making Us Stupider?”
Initially is said absolutely.
My reasoning was this: I look up definitions for words or a quick fact for a paper I am writing I use the information-hardly giving my brain time to process the information. The result is I forget it. I used to think this was the fault of my memory, or rather, my fault. But after reading the article I blamed Google and the Internet in general. For a couple of hours that is...
Until, I got to my English class, where it was time to discuss our opinions about what the article was trying to assert. I voiced my initial opinion and some of my classmates agreed with me. I said that if I can’t look up, for example, a definition in a dictionary I am less likely to remember what the word means.
As I was listening to the counter arguments, given by education majors and telecommunications majors, I was opened up to a new set of opinions that I hadn’t thought of before.
Our generation and society has easy access to facts, statistics, definitions, scholarly articles and ‘how to’ videos than any other generation before us. Let’s say I don’t know what the word “equilibrium” means (I do in fact know what this word means; I am just keeping with my ongoing ‘definition’ example). I look up the word on dictionary.com and I am instantly given the definition of the word, and I can apply it to an everyday experience instantly. No other generation had the ease of access like we do.
My opinion changed: the Internet is black and white. Either you use the Internet with a purposeful reason; to broaden your knowledge. Or, you use the internet like a blooming idiot; looking up stupid videos on Youtube like some guy doing something ridiculous who then ends up hurting himself just to get a couple thousand views.
My assertion: Google isn’t making us stupider. The people who use Google in a stupid way is what makes the general public think that we are are.