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Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?

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posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:46 PM

In fact, Carr argues, when we give in to the natural impulses to click and skim, rather than to read and think, the Internet may actually doing us a disservice: It shortens our attention spans and even inhibits our ability to read longer books and articles.

In fact, if Carr is correct, you may never even make it to the end of this article.

Carr says it's not just about people scanning and jumping around very quickly. He says that the Internet is actually beginning to change the way we think. "It makes it harder even when we're offline to read books, as skimming takes over and displaces our modes of reading," he says.

It's not just Google Carr is talking about, but rather the structure and nature of the whole Internet. But he says that Google is very much the dominant player, and it both governs and symbolizes the way information is structured. "The way we gather information is by jumping around," he says, "and that's governed not only by Google but by the whole economic structure of the Internet."

Woah woah woah... I just had an epiphany. I think this guy is right... and wrong. The internet really does take up time from other more useful activities, yet we use it to spread "truths" that other don't want us to know.
But whatever. we can't stop the spread of the internet nor it's stupid-fying effects.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:54 PM
This is the same as saying books can make you stupid (I'll spare you the obvious examples...). Ofc it, and they can, if you already have a predisposition. I find that blaming the medium for the reader is getting the whole thing backwards.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 09:03 PM
Isn't it the individual's fault if they are "dumbed down"?

Couldn't it be the same a some one reading a book and skimming through it; only absorbing the information that they deem pertinent? Therefor, to me any way, it stands to reason that we are responsible for making ourselves stupid. If in fact it is the case, the "tool" isn't responsible for the making of shoddy equipment; wouldn't it be the craftsmans fault?

Maybe that is a bad analogy. You be the judge.

Last I checked, we, not some inanimate object, were responsible for who and what we become.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by die_another_day

I think it's more likely that we are absorbing far more information than we used to be able to. It used to take ages to find a book with the information you required, now you can flit around from one site to another and learn many different things in the same time.

Searching is so fast! Getting the librarian to help you find something specific in the local library before computers came in was torturously slow.
Believe me I wouldn't change it for anything! I should just add that I still love books, always have, always will.

I suppose if you choose to look at rubbish or maybe I should say, pure entertainment, then you probably won't be doing your intellect many favours, but otherwise I'm convinced it's a good thing.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:15 PM
reply to post by die_another_day

Darn it!!! You just stole my idea!!

Get outta my head!!

Kidding. I had an idea along these lines, you just beat me to it....


posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:23 PM
It depends on what you do on the Internet. Are you playing video games, obsessed with chat rooms, living with Myspace, etc.? Then, yes, that would probably affect you in some way. At the very least it would stagnate your knowledge because our brains need intellectual stimulation.

On the other hand, if you use it to read, research, and learn, then that will at least increase your knowledge, although probably not your IQ.

It's the same with T.V. Are you only watching cartoons or the Discovery Channel?

The Internet is awesome because for the first time in known history you can enter a word or a string of words to learn about anything you want.

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