The Shallows By Nicholas Carr: Cognitive Effects Of The Internet

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Kirsten Laman ENGL 1301-61507 Professor Jackson 30 October 2014 Cognitive Effects of the Internet The book The Shallows by Nicholas Carr states that the introduction of the internet into society has had a profound effect on our culture. In other words, the internet has affected the way people think, read, and remember. The rapid access to tons of information has also affected people’s behavior making them less patient and less productive. According to Carr, “The Net commands our attention with far greater insistency than our television, or radio or morning newspaper ever did” (117). In today’s world, the internet has become essential to work, school and entertainment. These facts along with its implications state that the…show more content…
The windows operating system exemplified true multitasking. Before its invention, people did one thing at a time on computers such as word processing and sending email. In other words, it simply had no capacity to do both at the same time. People thought this multitasking would lead to an increase in productivity, but in many ways productivity has decreased because people are now no longer as focused. British biologist J. Z. Young states that there is evidence that the cells of our brains literally develop and grow bigger with use, and atrophy or waste away with disuse (Carr 21). Jordan Grafman, head of the cognitive neuroscience unit at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders also says, “The more you multitask, the less deliberate you become; the less able to think and reason out a problem” (Carr 140). Multitasking affects the way the brain is used and how knowledge is…show more content…
David Foster Wallace states, “Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise control over how and what you think (Carr 195). According to Carr, “The seductions of technology are hard to resist, and in our age of instant information the benefits of speed and efficiency can seem desirable beyond debate” (224). Unlike machines, human beings possess free will. People can choose to limit internet usage. They can choose to engage in deep thinking activities. Too much of anything is not good for any one, and this also applies to internet usage. Scholars say that the price of technology is alienation and that this indicates that the more distracted an individual becomes, the less able they are to experience human emotions such as empathy and compassion. It is still too early to tell what the results of the future effects of the internet, but as Carr states, “An intellectual technology exerts its influence by shifting the emphasis of our thought. As the brain adapts to the new medium, the most profound changes will take place over several generations’

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