Does the Internet make us stupid?

Just read the two articles for tomorrow’s class Is Google Making Us Stupid? & Spreadable doesn’t make it viral (which for some reason made me think of diseases and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches). After I read the Google piece I immediately thought to myself  “Well, welcome to my world people.” I’ve never been able to focus and concentrate on much my whole life – it’s called ADD. My brain flits from one shiny distraction to another shiny distraction.

According to the article I shouldn’t be able to comprehend the many bursts of information I take in from the web but I do. (I also remember 80% but have found as I’ve gotten older my memory has become more faulty so I take notes to keep me on track.) Personally, I think the Internet, Twitter, Blogging, email & texting as a gift from the Techno Gods for people with ADD. Maybe because my brain is hardwired differently I don’t have the same issues as Carr (and his friends) does with comprehension and interpretation. Or it could be because I am just a little bit over 40  so I wasn’t raised on the net like most of my classmates were and my brain was able to develop connections (regardless of disjointed pathways) needed to be able to surf the net effectively.

I did happen to notice that the article is rather dated (printed in the summer of 2008, probably written in Spring of ’08 using data collected prior to ’07) and I would be interested in seeing if any new brain studies or statistics regarding his observations have been collected and what the results were.

Plus, the title is a bit misleading. Google didn’t invent the search engine…they just made it better. Before Google there was Lycos, AltaVista, Metacrawler, Ask Jeeves (personal fav of mine), and of course the yodeling Yahoo ads encouraging us to search for anything and everything.

Saying that Google is making us stupid is like saying that video killed the radio star. The Buggles had it wrong – video didn’t kill the radio star, it spawned MTV (which ironically doesn’t even play videos anymore), which led to satellite radio.

While progress may change the way we receive music it still can’t change the music. 


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