Is Google Making Us Stupid? - Replicability

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Link to Original Article: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/

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This article is about the Internet and how all of our exposure to it has actually reprogrammed, in a way, our brain's ability to think deeply and really take in all that we read. As the author of the article described how he was no longer able to concentrate on long pieces of literature, he also found himself skimming over most of the words, looking to get the gist of the entire piece rather than taking it all in and really thinking about it. What he was experiencing has actually been documented and studied before, so it is replicable.

As a result of using the Internet for all of our information, the modern-day human has become less of a "deep thinker" and more a information skimmer. Even I have experienced this change in thinking over the past couple years, as I have spent more and more time online instead of reading books and articles. In essence, the entire advent of the Internet is reprogramming our minds to simply look for answers and concrete evidence instead of opening up doors for deliberation and deep thought. It has reduced our ability to stay focused on one thing by bombarding us with multiple types of unrelated information on one web page, one of the studies in the article says.

This "new way" of thinking has been unknowingly adopted by many people over the last 10 or so years with the advent of Google. Instead of pouring over books and articles to find information we need, we have become accustomed to putting in a few key words and finding the answers to our questions almost immediately.

The change in our brain's capacity to interpret data is also seen in how people write articles and distribute information online. Instead of having lengthy articles that take 20 minutes or so to read, we have now become accustomed to reading 1-4 paragraphs and having all of the information. Some great examples of this are Twitter and pretty much any other blog out there.

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In conclusion, Google and the Internet as a whole have been slowly but surely reprogramming the way we think and interpret information. This has been found to be true through many studies that monitor online patterns in people who are browsing the internet. Thus, the findings have been replicable.

1 Comment

Very good post; well-thought out! I've noticed this same phenomenon in myself -- I find myself wanting to skim articles, books, even blog posts!

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