Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

In the Atlantic Monthly's cover story, Nicholas Carr explores the impact of the internet on our ability to think and concentrate (and to read). Carr remarks:

I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
Carr's research suggests "we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think." The internet may be limiting our ability to read with deep concentration, instead creating a new species of "power browsers."

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