Before reading Carr’s article and our class discussion today, I thought research had shifted from hard cover books to Google because of the laziness and impatience of our generation. Instead of reading through page after page to find one piece of information, we want to type in our question and have a mind-boggling list of answers right in front of us. While this, in my opinion, is both a valid reason to shift research sources towards Google and a major example of our laziness, I believe there are more reasons our society is now drawn to the Internet to read or complete any research. Studying Carr’s article and hearing my classmates’ opinions about the topic of whether or not Google is making us stupid brought different, valid perspectives into the light.
Many people find comfort in some one thinking for them and hearing just what they want to hear. The Internet caters to that fact, monitors users’ interests and locations, manipulates what ads and links pop up while reading on Google. As an example, when I first got to Rome, I checked in my location on Facebook and, unsurprisingly, an hour later, as I went to go check my Gmail, an ad for the “10 Bests Places to Visit in Rome, Italy” popped up on my screen. This certainly caught my attention and I found myself scrolling through various tourist attractions I had the chance to look into. In his article, Carr states “They [media] supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought”. When Google caters to our interests and shapes our way of thinking, it naturally pleases the user and makes any types of reading or Internet usage enjoyable. On the other hand, books are concrete in that their material is permanently printed for any audience, no matter one’s age, gender, or interests. This impersonal technique of research makes the process less interesting for the individual and the less attractive option for research. Google’s advantage is that they can make anything personal for any user, and we feed off of this manipulation.