In today’s hyperlinked world, the notion of being “smart” is applicable to practically anyone who has access to Internet. The power of knowledge, limited in the past, is reaching new heights and becomes unbounded. “Why do I have to know anything? I can just Google it at any time.” It is what one of my students once told me. So,did people start thinking a new way?
In 2008, when the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr was published where he exposed the fact that internet is messing up with thehuman brain making it function differently. The largest problem, according to Mr. Carr, is that people stopped reading long texts whatsoever. Penetrating the way people think, Internet deprived people of the ability to concentrate and contemplate on one subject.
Mr. Carr based his opinion purely on his own observations that he would rather skim the text than read it. Even though the opinions about using Google as a tool of research are extremely polarized, the scales would rather point to its positive features. According to the recent surveys, using Google in everyday life as a search engine makes us smarter. In fact, 76% out of almost 900 experts subscribed to this statement. Isn’t this great news? Check this
As numbers are promised to grow this year, it makes much sense to concentrate on pros and flaws of Google’s mixed nature.
- For starters, the most obvious reason. You can use searching engine to answer complex questions, find information, people, and explore the world by just one click. You can do it at any time and any place.
- Hyperlinks. While information stored in a paper form is rather chaotic, electronic networked information storage introduces a chance to follow the sequence of knowledge from A to Z. As a result, the research gets more profound. As well as the process of research is a way simpler with the unlimited Google power.In addition, it gets easier to develop the ideas, support, and share them. In the light of such a hyperlinked connection, we are getting closer to be more tolerant realizing that there may be multiple opinions as much valuable as the next one.
- Multitasking. Using Google as an engine for research, thehuman brain is at challenge. It makes the brain function in a different way. Google changes the way we store information in our head. For instance, if you are asked to name countries starting with A, do you try to envision a map? People would rather think of the key words. If you keep doing the same task over and over, the brain will just ignore other ways. It is a scientific fact proved by lead neurologists that multitasking worsens memory and negatively affects attention: (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/multitasking-takes-toll-on-memory-study-finds/?_r=0)
- On the other hand, scientists proved that using search engines stimulate key brain centers that are responsible for complex decisions. The study proved that experienced internet users demonstrate heighten brain activity compared to those who used books to do the research. Pro-internet users are mostly apt for quick and precise decisions while inexperienced users provide less effective solutions.
In so many ways, arguing about whether Google makes us smarter can last for a while. Neither the users, nor the scientists can reach any definite answer. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Google drew many users into its cyber-spaced net having altered their way of thinking forever.