Nicholas Carr Essay

Nicholas Carr Essay

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Atlantic journalist Nicholas Carr confesses that he feels something has been “tinkering with his brain.” The internet, he fears, may be messing with our minds. We have lost the ability to focus on a simple task, and memory retention is steadily declining. He is worried about the effect the internet has on the human brain, and where it may take us in the future. In response to this article, Jamais Cascio, also a journalist for the Atlantic, provides his stance on the issue. He argues that this different way of thinking is an adaptation derived from our environment. Ultimately, he thinks that this staccato way of thinking is simply a natural evolution, one that will help to advance the human race.
Carr is worried. He confesses that he now has difficulty with the simple task of sitting down and reading a book. Absorbing the text is now belaboring, and his mind often drifts off into other realms. However, this phenomenon is not only limited to himself. Bruce Friedman, a pathologist at the University of Michigan Medical School, admits that he “can’t read War and Peace anymore…even a blog post of three or four paragraphs is too much,” (Carr). Scott Karp, a devoted blogger on online media and literature major, relates that he was an avid reader in college. Sadly, he observes the same trend in his focus as Carr and Friedman. Karp speculates that the loss of focus isn’t so much a change in the way he reads, but in the way he thinks (Carr).
Conceding, Carr says that his internet theory cannot be based on anecdotes alone, but he is convinced Karp is on to something. According to the study done by College London, people spend most of their time skimming internet articles. Participants hopped from one site to another, reading no more tha...


... middle of paper ...


...ge he references “scientists” as the information source, but does not cite any specific people or research.
Interestingly enough, both journalists conclude their articles with the uncertainty that goes into their viewpoints. Where will the future take us? We have no idea. Will technology ultimately harm human cognition? We don’t know. We will never know for sure until the time arrives. In the meantime, we can continue to research and speculate, but that is all. Personally, I believe that technology has a significant effect on the human mind. It has come to dominate all aspects of our lives, even our basic biological processes. Technology is an incredibly powerful tool, and with great power, comes great responsibility.



Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. "Is Google making Us Stupid?" The Atlantic (2008): 1-3.
Cascio, Jamais. "Get Smart." The Atlantic (2008): 1-3.

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