Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid” seemed to be the cats meow in many of our class discussions. I personally feel the article was often used as a reference point because we as students find it just as relatable and important as fifty year olds do. The article served as an almost digital-era union between Generation Y and Generation X; people of many ages and professions can relate to the thought provoking question Nicholas Carr titled his work with. So what is our answer? Is Google in fact making us stupid? An incredibly profound phrase hidden in the second paragraph may sum up our rhetoric class’s and Carr’s main point in all of this – “I’m not thinking the way I used to think.” This short, yet capturing sentence screams purpose into the technology and literacy debate.
Whether we are listening to the opinion of focused students or corporate CEO’s, we as a society haven’t really found a concrete answer/stance on the matter. Does the digital revolution present us with immense benefits? We can all nod our heads yes. Is the seemingly magical internet changing the way we absorb and choose to communicate our information? Yes. My mother at 54 and myself at 21 interact with our smart phones in a similar manner- we are happy that the GPS application provided us a quicker way home and we are incredibly sorry that we haven’t looked away from our texts and up at my father for 10 minutes after we’ve finally arrived there. Our handheld friends are inevitably changing the way that we think, as they are providing information and entertainment to us at an unprecedented pace. However, it is up to the user to decide if it is making them smart or dependent. I find it magnificent that I can receive a digital copy of the New York Times everyday on my cell phone. I find it unfortunate that I choose to screen shot Instagram images of professional models as motivation to get fit. However, as quickly as times change, much continues to remain the same, we will always need both 2 and 2 to make 4. The internet provides us with pros and cons just as the majority of inventions throughout our history have. When we analyze the “Is Google Making us Stupid” discussion on a broader scale, we see that society and culture have always had to pay a price for our achievements. The invention of the telephone connected our country and boosted our economy, but it also made dinner time a bit more noisy. The invention of the television came with an indescribable amount of consequences to collective values, but also advanced the flow of information that is available to us in ways that people would never imagine. We have always had to manage the benefits and dangers that these incredible technological advancements inherently present. Technological advancements are produced to change the way we act, it is our responsibility as users to manage the way that we think.