The Internet: Time Not Well Spent

In the Atlantic article, Is Google Making Us Stupid?, author Nicholas Carr fails to take into account the idea of how the average person with a smartphone and an internet connection has access to a wealth of knowledge that is greater in content than any other source in the history of the planet. Thus, in this sense to ask the question of whether or not Google is making us stupid is irrelevant for obtaining access vast amounts of knowledge has never been quicker and easier; however, where the real question lies pertains to the thought of whether the internet is increasing laziness; and how said laziness is changing the way we think. Carr makes a few interesting points relating to the idea of to our decreasing attention spans; however, The New York Times article by Tomothy Egan, The Eight-Second Attention Span, truly conveys the issues of the four second loss of the human attention span. Amusingly enough the article expresse3536-cat-and-goldfishs the irony of how our attention span is officially lower than that of a goldfish. This by no means conveys that we are now dumber than a goldfish, what Carr may have us believe, but rather it means we have grown accustomed to the new phenomena of instant gratification. While many of the critical examples in both articles may seem minor to those of younger generations, it gets troubling when thinking about how our new sense of instant gratification changes the way we live out our daily lives. When thinking instant gratification on the internet two topics immediately come to mind; information and entertainment. In terms information it seems pretty bleak in that according to USA Today the most searched terms of 2016 were Pokémon followed by the IPhone 7 and thirdly Donald Trump. This seems quite alarming that a videogame and the new IPhone seem to have more importance than information on the new leader of the United States. Additional worry should also stem from how many hours is spent watching online entertainment. It is estimated that each month over 11 billion hours of Netflix is watched, over 100 billion YouTube videos are viewed and 2.5% of all internet uses visit the single most popular adult site on the internet. The conclusion that I have to reach when looking at this information is not that we are becoming stupid, but rather that due to the internet’s ability to grant instant gratification whenever we so choose, has led us to grow lazy and take for granted the great access to important information we have.

2 thoughts on “The Internet: Time Not Well Spent

  1. I like your stance on this article. You’re definitely right – having the internet at our fingertips definitely is a beneficial tool. I feel like there is a wide variety of knowledge that I have that I would not have otherwise.

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  2. This is great, instead of focusing on what the author focused on, you posed a new problem, which was laziness, and how we need instant gratification. I also appreciate the statistics you embedding into the blog post, great work!

    Like

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