I don't think it's what we are reading, be it a book or the internet. It's not even how often we read or the content, but it's more to do with how
we relay that information back out into the open.
In other words, speaking and writing.
Most have us have read a book or seen a film and thought 'wow, that was good'... then we go off and relay the book/film to a friend or group of
people about how it made you think, feel and create new thoughts and ideas.
Your relaying of the information enforced and strengthened your memory of the details. It made memory recall more tuned.
I can read a post here in ATS and come up with an answer to reply with, but that answer may very well be as short as a majority of posts elsewhere.
I could read a page on TinWiki
and then come back here and write a full report on it that may cover two
or three complete posts to do.
The internet forces you to grab further relevant information. You can't take any one page as the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth. You
have to look elsewhere for further reading to verify the 'facts' you've found on TinWiki so as to enforce the data you post into ATS threads.
As with books, you don't just rely on one author. Imagine everyone only ever reading Agatha Christie! We'd all be experts on murder mysteries and
nothing else. That's the beauty of being able to write. your opinions and research are able to be spread far further than your unrecorded voice will
A library or book shop is a place to store information. You have to physically go there to retrieve several pieces of data to read up on to further
your understanding of any particular subject. Physical travel is one of the drawbacks here, along with the ability to shout across to a friend and say
'Hey, come see what I've found..it's great.and look at this pic..'
It's an almost taboo thing to do in a library.
But the internet allows the instant grabbing of hundreds of libraries and millions of minds and opinions. So much so that google can actually make you
think harder on the search preferences you enter.
If you were to search google for the word 'sun', you will get millions of pages all about the sun in our solar system, suns in other solar systems,
the sun newspaper, sun computer programmes and many many more. So you become swamped with results and you have to step back and refine your search, in
other words 'think again'.
So now you've typed in 'dark spots on the sun' and retrieve several thousand pages on sun spot activity, causes and effects etc. You've got what
you were looking for.
Now, because you're using the internet, you can jump onto your chat programme or climb back into ATS, or do both, and alert several hundred people to
what you've found in a matter of seconds. But what do you do?
You do this... "Hey, look what I've found!"
And then expect everyone to read what you've found so they can see what's so fascinating. So you've immediately reduced your ability to recall a
subject and are not enforcing your own memory recall as you're not physically accessing the information you've just discovered. You're just
relaying the physical internet copy of the information. You're not doing any 'brain' work.
But if you were to take even 10 minutes to sit there and type out a few paragraphs on the relevant information that you wished to highlight before you
sent it out, then maybe you will become not only a bit more educated, but a better writer too.
So no, google does not make us more stupid...we are doing it to ourselves due to the flood of information and our own laziness at not wanting to
ensure what we're reading is truth and our inability to correctly relay that information on to others.
This is the beauty of ATS.. you can't just simply post 'look here'
You have to do some research and gather correct information and then write a section on what you've found to intice others to read more, to be
educated, to see your point of view, to become aware of something that may be life changing.
[edit on 14-6-2008 by Extralien]