Monday, May 30, 2011

Writer Urges Internet Junkies To "Switch Off" And Think

It takes concentration to read or write. The internet, according to a writer, could be robbing us of it. He wrote an article which I linked to in 2008, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", and he's warning us again. An excerpt:

Like tens of millions of others, US technology writer Nicholas Carr found the lure of the worldwide web hard to resist -- until he noticed it was getting harder and harder to concentrate.

He set out his concerns in a celebrated essay headlined "Is Google making us stupid?"

And his latest book "The Shallows" explores in depth what he fears the Internet is doing to our brains.

"The seductions of technology are hard to resist," Carr acknowledges in that book, which has sold an estimated 50,000 hardback copies in the United States alone. But he thinks it's time to start trying.

In a speech at last week's Seoul Digital Forum and an interview with AFP, Carr restated his concerns that IT is affecting the way people think and feel and even the physical make-up of their brains.

Every new technology in history -- like the map and the clock -- changed the way people think but Carr sees special dangers in the Internet.

He got his first PC back in the 1980s and was an avid net user until "a few years ago, I noticed some disturbing changes in the way my mind worked. I was losing the ability to concentrate."

While the Internet has enormous benefits in delivering incredible amounts of information at incredible speed, it's also a distracting and interruption-rich environment.

Carr said it encourages quick shifts in focus -- and discourages sustained attention and the ability to think deeply and creatively about one topic and to challenge conventional wisdom.

3 Comments:

Blogger Will said...

I can relate so much. Whenever I watch movies on my laptop I couldn't help but pause once in a while to check something online. Those in the Google Generation seem to have shorter attention spans compared to non-Internet users.

10:32 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@Will: The good thing is that we can counter it by training ourselves to focus on one thing at a time.

12:20 PM  
Blogger gloria said...

Observing great progress in the development of Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, and computing utility services, Nicholas G. Carr (aka Nick), the author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google talks about the vision of CIOs and the like for Cloud Computing in the video. See Anubhav Saxena, VP -- Marketing, HCL Technologies exploring the scope of building a common workable system to meet ever increasing demands in End User Computing with him .http://bit.ly/kSVRSA

7:36 PM  

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