I am retaking an English course to strive for a higher grade for application to the radiology program at Southern Crescent Technical College. The following contains a discussion board post for my ENGL 1101 class. The post contains an informal essay regarding a response to Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr creates the argument that people’s brains are rewiring as they increasingly use the technology of the Internet. Carr says people become more distracted and unable to focus and less able to read long passages of text. Neuropsychologist, Vaughan Bell, provides an alternative view in his article “Don’t Touch That Dial!” He argues that Carr does not reference a single “study on how digital technology is affecting the mind and brain” but only refers to “scientists doing peripherally related work” (Bell). Bell says Carr instead uses “anecdotes about people who believe they can no longer concentrate” (Bell). Even if the Internet is rewiring people’s brains, the trend is not new, and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of cognitive change. The printing press may have been the beginning of “information overload,” of which “respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm” (Bell). The printing press and the examples included in Carr’s article show how “each generation reimage[ed] the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain” and “their similarity from one century to the next, to the point where they arrive anew with little having changed except the label” (Bell). The Internet is the current technology in a long line of changing cognitive advances.
Bell highlights some advantages of the Internet. According to him, “data show[s] that people who use social networking sites actually tend to have better offline social lives” (Bell). He insinuates that social media is a tool to enhance rather than replace offline relationships. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) gamers collaborate online with sometimes 39 other people for the end goal of killing raid dungeon bosses. They have leadership and form a complex strategy that coordinates all raid members’ movements, abilities, and timing. Bell says data shows that “those who play computer games are better than nongamers at absorbing and reacting to information with no loss of accuracy or increased impulsiveness” (Bell). Perhaps gamers might have an advantage in today’s collaborative environment due to their accumulative collaborative experience. The collaborative environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic is the perfect example of how the advantages of the Internet can outweigh the disadvantages of cognitive change. The Internet is an invaluable tool that allows telecommuting, continuing education from home, and collaborating and staying connected despite being physically separated. Some people could even argue that “if done well, virtual has some unique qualities that can actually make it better than being there,” including “meetings that are more engaging and inclusive” (Harmon). Introverted students had similar thoughts after using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in Ms. Bullington’s ENGL 1101 class. The fact that the Internet contains such vast information will allow the students to complete the class under the pandemic circumstances. Via the Internet, they will use Google as well as the school’s online resources, including GALILEO, to complete their research project and assignments for the rest of the semester despite not being able to go to the library physically. Even though this collaborative experience is not without flaws, people continuously work together as a community to adapt to the situation, and the Internet makes that possible.
Bell, Vaughan. “Don’t Touch That Dial! A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.” Slate,
Accessed 3 April 2020.
Harmon, Shani, and Renee Cullinan. “Collaboration In The Time Of Coronavirus.” Forbes,
Accessed 3 April 2020.
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