Is Technology Making us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr published an article called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (See link below). He writes about what the Internet is doing to our brains. This post takes some of his title from the article, but I felt it necessary to add technology in the title because I feel that it is important to recognize the impact it has had on us. I enjoyed reading this article because I agree with a lot of what Carr is saying. It is obvious when we think about how much we used to read, how much we don’t read anymore. We rely so much on the convenience of things that that has moved onto reading as well.

I felt almost guilty reading the article online because he talks about what the Internet and what companies do in order to distract the reader from what they are trying to read. Ads on the pages, links to other articles, etc., is what makes us “bounce” from article to article while on the Internet. This was researched by a group of scholars from the University College London in order to find out exactly how we are spending our time on the Internet. It made me think; when I go on my laptop to do anything, I jump from Website to Website in order to find something that hooks me in the first three to eight sentences. When we would read books for fun, people always suggested to wait at least fifty to one hundred pages to tell if it will get good. That is a HUGE difference and it’s sad to think that we are in such a rush to sit down and take the time to read.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

In another, Matthew Belanger writes an introduction of Electracy.  My interpretation of what he means by electracy is that it is a way for our modern age to get the most out of literacy as we can. It is using technology in order to gain an understanding of what exactly is trying to be understood. Belanger used examples from Kant, Derrida, and Aristotle, all of whom I would not have fit in under the category that is digital media. With this, Belanger did mention that one thing was key, and funny that it also counters what is said in the first article that I talked about:

“The point is that this formal construction must be taught in school (beginning in elementary school), along with math and science, not as “art” but as reasoning or method.”

I believe that this is an important part. It is saying that digital literacy or perhaps, digital media, is just as important now as the original foundation of education. I would have to strongly agree. It is essential for students to understand how and why the Internet is so important now and how to use it effectively. He also goes into saying that aesthetics are essential as well. I agree with Belanger on this, but I also think that it is more of a priority to learn the basics of digital media and the rest of it will come with experience. Just like a lot of things in life, this is a chance in order to prepare the following generations with the knowledge that they will need to succeed in our technology – advancing world. If we want it to continue this way, we must pass on what we do know so they have a chance at making it something worthwhile. It’s not to replace the subjects and the hard literature that we have now, but where’s the hurt in trying to make it better?

http://ulmer.networkedbook.org/the-learning-screen-introduction-electracy/

 

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