Progression of the Human Brain with Modern Media

Are internet search engines like Google and Bing changing the way we think? Nicholas Carr delves into this issue in his article, “Is Google making us Stupid?” Referring to media he states that it supplies “the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” As soon as I read these words I understood how to diagnose something within myself that I had not been aware of: The way and the things that I read have changed over the past several years and I do believe that this is due to the way in which I use media. As I progressed through grade-school I used to be able to read books such as Henry Thoreau’s Walden with relative ease. I remember reading entire books in one day so as to be able to have a conversation about the book the following day. Today, I’m not entirely sure that I am able to do that because I am not certain that I can concentrate for such a long period of time in one subject. A scarier thought: Referring to one afternoon as “a long period of time”. This is what has become of my mindset in the second decade of the 21st century. A couple of hours is a long time to concentrate on one subject. Now, this may be a natural progression to people in my age group but I worry for what is to come in the next couple of decades with the advent of greater, more detailed technologies. I am not afraid to get accustomed to these technologies but rather, my fear comes from the thought that I will adapt to them too quickly and forget about a way of life from what will seem to be, simpler times.


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