Link to article: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/is-stupid-making-us-google
The other day at dinner, I asked my dad, “Who is Bobby Baker?” He didn’t know. So he pulled out his phone and googled it. It seems like more and more that this is the way people access information. Rather than learning, memorizing, and understanding information they rely on Google to tell them what they should know. In short, Google is making us lazy. Why spend all the time doing the hard work of learning when you could simply look it up? A large part of learning is reading. My dad told me that leaders are readers. For his generation, reading was the way to expose oneself to new ideas and concepts. Instead of reading, my generation tends to turn to brief, misspelled, 160 characters sentences (or fragments). With the decrease in reading academic materials, we are experiencing an increase in stupidity. We seem to always be communicating but never saying anything. We are always online but never learning. We are always reading but never understanding the deeper truths.
In the article Is Google Making Us Stupid by Nicholas Carr, the problem of reading is highlighted. Quoting Maryanne Wolf, the article says, “We are not only what we read … We are how we read.” The internet’s multitasking environment that emphasizes efficiency and immediacy has made it difficult for the current generation to read deeply. “Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged” (Carr). The challenge is for young people today to unplug from the Internet and return to Walden Pond. Reading, thinking, observing nature, and meditating are an important part of being human. This needs to be recaptured.
Question for thought: How can we encourage people to spend less time in front of their computers and more time in deep thought?