In a very thought-provoking article entitled “Is Google Making us Stupid?”, Nicholas Carr compares our modern age to that of the Stanley Kubrick film, “2001, A Space Odyssey”. In the movie two astronauts are haunted by a computer system that is suppose to keep them alive. When the computer, HAL, starts to malfunction and seems to have feelings, he tries to kill the astronauts. This is a pretty good analogy. Our lives are basically consumed by technology. From our phones to our refrigerators, everything is getting a technological face lift. What happens when this stuff goes haywire or ceases to work? Where will we be?
I think we will have the smarts to live after Google, but Nicholas Carr is right, our brains ARE changing. The way we use technologies is different and ever changing. This change in technology is also changing the way we use it. No longer are people reading books and doing deep reading. We are no always on and always plugged in. We cannot sit down and read a book for 3 hours, its not engaging enough. On the Internet we have a myriad of articles, books, stories, and everything else you can think of. It is so easy to go from one thing to another, why bother staying on one topic? Well, I think there is a good reason. If we learn to focus on too much than too much will be missed. Somethings take time to develop and should be taken in and deeply considered. Instead we are making instant decisions and I don’t think it is right.
In the article, Carr, gives a really intriguing example. He says that as humans we always compare our lives to the biggest technology. When the clock was invented it changed peoples lives, for better or worse. People referred to things as happening “like clock work”. Today, people would say it works like a computer to describe the same thing. I think this proves that our minds are changing and that as technology changes, so do we.