Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” discusses how the Internet alters people’s mental abilities. More precisely, the author is concerned with the loss of ability to concentrate for a long time and read long texts. Carr concludes that progressively people lose the skills of critical thinking, drawing inferences, and creating their own ideas (para. 30). At the same time, it will be wrong to assume that people are becoming stupid due to the daily utilization of the Internet because the searching engines grand us access to tons of information on diverse topics.
Carr’s argument about the harm that the Internet causes to people’s cognitive abilities is illustrated with his own experience. For example, he writes, “my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages” (Carr para. 2). Carr also adds that in spite of the fact that he used to deep reading and had no issues with this before, in recent years, this became a “struggle” for him (Carr para. 2). Carr also notes that his experience with reading is shared by Bruce Friedman, who is famous for a blog dedicated to the application of computers in medicine (Carr para. 6). In other words, the observations about the loss of concentration could be regarded as a starting point of the entire article.
The anecdotes listed by Carr are used to prove the central thesis of the article. Carr quotes a developmental psychologist, Maryanne Wolf, who claims that reading determines people’s mental abilities (Carr para.8). As far as people commonly do not spend much time reading the articles on the Internet, their abilities to “ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections” diminishes (Carr para.8). Therefore, it could be inferred that Carr does not blame the Internet for making people stupid. Instead, he emphasizes that the Internet significantly affects the way people think, extract information, and concentrate attention.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, 2008, Web.