Are we still smart or has the internet taken over our lives?

Our world today is shaped by the Internet in more ways than the average bear can realize. The million dollar question though is, is the internet helping or hurting us? Are we as a community becoming smarter by using the internet or are we just simply hurting ourselves and our brains? I had no idea this was a thing until I read Nicholas Carr’s article Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Social-Media-Distractions

The Struggle of staying concentrated and relying on out brain not the internet/social media.

The internet has helped out this entire world in so many ways. Without the internet the world we know would not be able to function. Too many people are invested in their phone, computer, or tablet they would simply crumble if they were not able to use it again. This can be attributed to the fact that the internet makes everything so
much easier. From looking up information, to keeping up with friends and family the internet has created a culture that does not need printed books to relay information or letters for communication. Everything you need is at your fingertips instantly. Carr says is best when he states, “Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes.”

Even though the internet and all of its wonderful capabilities sound great, it is quickly changing the way that we read, comprehend, and retrieve information.  With information right at our fingertips, our mind isn’t being challenged to retrieve critical information that can foster better learning from a book or lengthy article. The internet has so many options for a given topic making, that many people will go find the shortest and easiest article to comprehend. This is causing us to think and learn in an entirely new way that isn’t really the best for us. This has caused people to become less attentive and develop bad mental habits such as skimming. People now a days are not reading to learn, they just find the facts and that’s it.  I find all of this to be very interesting because I can relate with all of this. I struggle concentrate on articles and writing blogs just like this one because my brain is not wired to concentrate and regurgitate information quickly and efficiently. The internet is making myself as well as other soft. Only using the internet to be able to function is not what I want to fall into doing more of.

In addition to all the thoughts on the internet that Nicholas Carr had in his article, Gregory Ulmer has a different kind of approach in is article Introduction: Electracy. His approach is called Electracy and it is all about embracing the internet and its new forms of media. Even though Ulmer has created and embraced the new ways and techniques of internet reading, he doesn’t not want to reinvent the wheel.  He just simply wants to supplement the old ways of reading and writing with a third dimension of thought, practice, and identity. Gregory Ulmer wants the users of the internet to have access and use as many sources as possible. He wants us to then take all of the information we have actually read (not skimmed) and put it all too good use. Electracy is about being quick, efficient, and engaged while using the internet. Ulmer also states, ““Electracy” is to digital media what literacy is to alphabetic writing: an apparatus, or social machine, partly technological, partly institutional.” Without the proper tools and knowledge we wouldn’t be able to succeed at all.

figure-1

Ulmer created a chart that states the skills set that someday may be assumed of electrate people native to an internet institution.

Overall I think that there are many different thoughts and opinions on home everyone should approach the internet. I believe that there are very clear harmful effects of using and abusing the internet for everything in our lives but at the same time Ulmer has shown a way to slightly bend the rules by using a different way of approaching everything internet. I enjoyed reading these articles and hope that I can incorporate all of this into my everyday life.

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