Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Can you relate?

Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I certainly can. Read this article, that is, if your attention span allows it.

4 thoughts on “Is Google Making Us Stupid?

  1. It’s sad that I read the first two pages very carefully…then trailed off and skimmed the rest. I certainly agree that my learning/reading habits have changed. I hate to say “quantity not quality” because I feel I’m still getting quality information, but smaller bites of more topics. When I try to digest something longer, I have to take it in in smaller sittings over a long period of time (instead of finishing a book in a few days-week).

  2. Definitely, something has changed in the way I gather information. It seems as if reading (or for that matter, reading long texts) isn’t as rewarding as it used to be. Most of the time the smaller chunks of information will do the job. But if you want to really dive into a topic and want to know the details, it’s hard to keep focused.

  3. The internet is just like any other resource material. When there is something we want to know, we don’t sit down with an encyclopedia and read the whole thing. Rather, we skim and scan the material until we find exactly what we were looking for. This is what I find I do when using the internet. I search for what I interested in, then skim and scan to the exact location in the website that answers my question. I think people these days are all about wanting their answers NOW. We are able to find answers to our questions quicker and more in depth. I agree that reading a longer document can seem a bit burdensome at times, but I feel it’s because we feel that the entire document is not applicable to the answer that we were originally searching for. I know that when it takes the entire document to explain the issue, then I read it. However, when there is a lot of added “fluff” I often go into skim and scan mode and then only read the few paragraphs that answer my question. Therefore, as an educator, I think it is more important than ever to teach students how to review and read the internet.

  4. Pingback: Pages tagged "wayward"

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