“Is Google Making Us Stupid”

The Internet is a powerful and universal medium that allows for quick searches, long-distance communication, funny YouTube videos, video, and music streaming. However, with such advances comes at times with a great price. According to the author’s statements as, “what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation,” by which he refers to media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s work in the 1960s reference to how media is not just solely passive channels of information but it also shapes the process of thought. This enlightens a reflection process to determine whether or not the Net is affecting our cognition long-term.

The author uses a few professional persona opinions on their reading capacity. A majority admitted they do a quick skimming to read the work quickly or can only read two to three paragraphs of a blog, and then look for something else to draw their attention to. Since the Net provides more efficiency and immediacy when conducting searches or social media conversations, it has allowed a door to be open to the cognitive function. People are becoming less and less patient to not want to take the time anymore to perform a deeper reading. Users are no longer making deeper and thoughtful connections with the substance of what they are searching, which overall creates disengagement between the text and the reader. To further illustrate this, consider the concept of reading. Reading is a learned process that is developed over time to connect symbols and characters into the language use. Whereas, speaking is an instinctive skill that is biologically wired within humans, than compared to reading. For example, think of the stories you may of heard about children learning how to speak certain dialect of languages or words simply because they heard their parents speaking outside the womb. Now on the other hand picture, a child learning how to read, it takes time for the child to see the symbol and attach it with the word. Taking all this in consideration, the Net offers visual and auditory stimulus that may or may not be affecting our cognitive functions. Possibly, perhaps, it could be rewiring our cognitive abilities to adapt to the medium’s content.



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