Carr brings in many different scientific research as well as a couple of personal experiences to show the great change in technology and the internet. The author chose to write The Shallows from an epiphany he had realized, “It (his brain) was hungry. It was demanding to be fed by the net feed… L wanted to check email, click links, do some goggling. I wanted to be connected” (Carr 16). The way that technology has changed and developed the internet has made Carr want to stress the fact that although technology is very useful, it can be very harmful to peoples’ brain in a way that it affects a person’s peer level of thinking.
Section II:The Author’s Background Nicholas Carr Is a columnist, member of the Encyclopedia Britannica editorial board of advisors, as well as an executive editor. Carr writes about technology, culture, and economics which have made his books New York Times Bestsellers In addition to being a 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee. Aside from The Shallows, Carr has written two other influential books called The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google and Does IT Matter? With the three books, Carr has sparked many debates and awareness.
Carr has been a columnist in many news articles such as The Times of London, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more. One of his famous essays, “Is Google Making Us Stupid? ” has brought a widespread attention, winning a couple of awards such as The Best Spiritual Writing In 2010, and The Best Technology Writing in 2009 (Carr www). Through each book he has written, Carr went through a large amount of research into creating them. Nicholas G. Carr, an academic columnist, is able to change the minds of many readers with his intellectual works.
Section Ill: The Books Argument Carr starts off the book with his own personal experience and how he and his brain began developing with the use of technology. Carr uses personal anecdotes to get reader to familiarize their experience with his. Like how he bought the first Mac that came out a couple of decades ago, he showed his emotions and what was going through his mind (Carr 12). It’s inevitable for readers to feel nostalgic If they were alive during the time of greatest and newest thing at the moment.
Although the new Mac didn’t give any internet or anything that would be considered a necessity now a says, people began to constantly go on computers and doing different things to less each year and before people will actually realize it, technology will become so advance to the point that going on the computers, phones, laptops, TV’s, will always seem more important. People become dependent on their technology and internet that it also reaches the point where people feel anxious without their blackberry or ‘phone’s; almost as if technology has become a drug.
In May, a couple years back, Barack Obama, a self-confessed addict to his Blackberry, complained that pods and pads… Information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment. ” (Morocco www). Like Obama and many others, technology has taken over a great part of people’s lives and it has become a necessity to our daily activities, which explains the cartoon below (Smith www). People constantly say that technology as well as the internet will take over people’s lives yet with the rate that people are using their cellophanes and laptops, it already has.
With much truth to that, Carr explains through his book how many people are not able to read a whole story or article through. They become easily distracted with something else that could be on the internet or their phones-maybe both. Internet and technology have the effect of making people want to do so many things at one time making the brain unable to complete something absolutely through without any distractions. Through extensive research, Carr was able to find many valid points to his argument. In addition to the change, the author found that people are now skimming and scanning articles and books rather than actually reading.
Over the past 30-40 years, the change in the way of reading has dramatically increased. Nearly 85% of people in a survey stated that they now read their stories off of electronic devices such as Nooks, ‘pads, laptops, etc. (Carr 137). In that same survey, 82% of the people claimed they were “non-linear reading” while on a shocking 27% was actually committed “in-depth reading”. With that being said, people are not really reading the whole story or article as a whole but skimming through it and those people are unable to actually comprehend what they are reading.
Gaming Ill, a library science professor, said, “l find that my patience with reading long documents is decreasing. I want to skip ahead to the end of long articles” (Carr 138). It’s getting harder as years go on to continue to read things straight through without getting distracted into doing something else. Like what Carr said, there isn’t anything wrong with skimming and browsing through things, but it becomes a problem when skimming and scanning becomes the first and only thing to do when it comes to reading.
With skimming, the brain begins to have a harder time grasping what the main subjects and importance of the story. The process of skimming stories is now nature to people. It’s impossible now to sit and read through something completely without stopping. More importantly, Carr uses his ability as an intellectual writer to be able to scientifically research and create an incredibly structured book that shows one of the biggest problems going on in the world. The Shallows shows how the affects of technology and internet affects the way people think-for the most part, deeper levels of thinking.
The way people used to think then, they were able to understand the more critical things and take it in and remember it. “Carr argues that both maps and clocks “placed a new stress on measurement and abstraction, on perceiving and defining forms and processes ring into being the scientific mind and the scientific man. ” (Morocco www). This shows how people these days are so used to looking things up for one thing and not really caring for the bigger picture. Going along with that, people are also using Google as the cheats. When we Google a keyword, we receive, in the blink of an eye, a list of interesting information to appraise. ” (Carr 117). Instead of learning a whole subject on something, people are typing in one word and learning one specific thing rather than a whole. Because of that, people are able to learn 10 different things in a matter of a couple minutes. But with that, people are unable to able to keep it in their brains. In the Huffing Post, Carr talks about cognitive overload (SCM www).
He explains how the internet has become addictive and people have become compulsive in checking the screens and because of that, it creates a cognitive overload which means that our brain is overloading information, sometimes useless, in a way that it prevents information from coming together and creating knowledge. With that being said, we are only getting bits of information rather than getting the whole knowledgeable information. Going back to distraction, the way the brain works, castration makes it hard for the brain to take in and keep an existing and functioning kind of memory. The more stimulated you are by things coming through your screen, the less able you are to distinguish important information from trivial information. “(SCM www) People are going to continue to use the computer or any electrical devices to search for simple answers and as years go on, it is going to get harder to maintain the deeper knowledge people get outside of internet and technology but in books and outside information. Though the author’s points and arguments are excellent and valid, there were some holes in his research and rating.
While Carr explained the bad effects of internet on the brain, Carr never mentioned the good effects that technology and internet have on people. By doing this, Carr makes his argument one-sided and “cherry-picked” his research. Another weakness that the author has in his book is the topic of the brain and neuropsychiatry. Carr is neither a scientist nor a person that specializes in the subject of the brain and neuropsychiatry so he wasn’t able to write this in a reliable way.
All his information is secondary and tertiary sources, basically Just taking the information from others, asking readers question how true his research may be. Section lb. Opposing Points of View Although Carr talks about how the internet makes people’s brain lose the deeper-level of thinking, their ability to read, and retain the information, many other feel otherwise. Scientist at UCLA claim that searching the internet helps many adults brains function a lot better. After an extensive amount of research and experiments, DRP.
Gary Small, a professor at the Seems Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, said, “Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading -? but only in those with prior Internet experience,” (Small www). Researchers also found that compared to reading, internet helps engage cognitive activity in the way that people are required to decide on what to click when on the web. As the brain ages, so does the cell activity as it begins to shrink and reduce. Because of that, people’s brains are not as active as they were 20 years earlier.
It’s important to keep up the maybe going on the internet could help too. This research absolutely contradicts what Carr was saying in The Shallows. In the books, Carr is saying how reading is what’s helping the cognitive brain functions yet scientist have found that going online and browsing things are helping adult’s brain functions. When it comes to children, kids are able to learn things from a very young age and develop many things as well. With all the modern technology, if taught the appropriate way, children will be able to use technology and the internet to greatly improve their physical, cognitive, and social skills.
With physical skills, kids are able to use their technology by using the keyboard and mouse to help with hand-eye coordination. With coordination, it’s easier for kids to handle many different things such as their motor skills. It helps children’s cognitive memory in the way that it helps their memory, problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Using technology and the internet helps to improve on many things including their knowledge. The internet also improves children’s social skills greatly. Children are able to learning new ways of communications as well as social skills. As children use the Internet to connect with places around the world and exchange mail with electronic pen pals, they are able to share different cultures and traditions. ” (Verdict www). Because of this, kids are able to have a better understanding of the different cultures around the world making them more diverse and educated on the subject. Children also use many different sorts of technology in classes. With the technology, students are able to uses websites like Backbone, Google APS, and more to communicate and work together, encouraging them to learn cooperatively and more.
The subject of children with technology and internet does not conflict with Car’s book. Carr doesn’t mention in his book about kids and the affects of technology on them. Even with that, it still a contradiction to what the author is saying. Unlike the argument Carr discusses, children can learn new things in deeper level of thinking with the help of the internet. They are able to learn the means of communications and cultures all around the world and be capable of understanding it completely. Carr believes that if the internet is used right, then brains won’t be as affected by it but implies that it is impossible.
Assailing Simpson, in her article Internet ‘Speeds up Decision making and Brain Function, talks about almost the opposite. She talks about the greater difference in brain activity from going onto the internet and reading a book. She says, “The stimulation was concentrated in the frontal, temporal and accumulated areas, which control visual imagery, decision-making and memory. ” (Simpson www). The internet has become this enormous part of people’s lives it’s important and the only way many people learn these days is through technology and internet.
Of course, if technology is overused, though it is for the most part, it can affect a person socially. We have already become adapted to the world of technology. Kids in this generation will already know the greatness of all types of technology. DRP. Small says, muffing people are growing up immersed in this technology and their brains are more malleable, more plastic and changing than with older brains,” (Small www). With that being said, children are already adapted to learning and thinking critically thinking with the use of the internet.
This argument does somewhat conflict and contradict with what Carr is conveying. Carr feels that that the internet is making the brain believes otherwise- that internet helps a person learn new things, improving the brain’s function. Section V: Conclusion Despite the fact that internet makes people have less patience when it comes o reading, causing people to scan and skim rather than thoroughly reading, as well as people not being able to have a deeper thinking, people are still able to learn the things that are necessary.
When it comes to technology and whatever comes with it, there will always be a good and bad side to it. Carr explored negative effects of the modern technology along with internet on people. He brings in many fascinating ideas providing statistical evidence, scientific research, and many logistics as well to his readers to show that this is still only the beginning of the great affect and use of technology.