This article compares two articles, Matt Richtel’s “Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price” and Nicholas Carr “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” These articles provide critical information regarding the use of internet and its effects on individuals and the American society in general. Technology has a very strong appeal and educative power but its uncontrolled use also has its shortcomings.
Carr begins by acknowledging the fact that internet provides a lot of information which is an advantage to people willing to learn. This aspect according to Carr is a progression from the few texts that were available in the 1970s and 1980s. On the other hand, Richtel also acknowledges the fact that internet use facilitates the development of a brain that is more effective at finding information. Richtel also observes that certain video games help some players to develop improved visual intensity. He also concedes that gadgets such as computers and mobile phones have significantly transformed life. He also agrees with Carr that the accessibility of information is high today than in the 1960s.
Although internet provides a lot to read from in the modern world, Carr observes the negative impact that the internet has brought in the wake of increased information. First, he observes that the internet does provide a lot of distractions thus making it difficult to concentrate on reading and conceptualizing long articles. He therefore blames the marketing strategies of Google which Carr states is not interested in providing a conducive learning opportunity but is busy providing advertisement messages around texts thus making it almost impossible to concentrate on a single text (Carr, 2008).
For Richtel, internet distraction is seen at the beginning of his article where Kord Campbell ignores an email which he realizes after 12 days that it was a very important email. Such is the distraction created by his gadgets that he even forgets important things regarding his family and dinner plans. To Richtel it is much difficult to finish reading an article as people are busy juggling incoming information from multiple sources.
Further, Carr opines that continued reliance on the internet has changed the way people think. This is because the internet, according to Carr’s observations can be attributed to the alteration in the formation of the neural circuits in the brain which are responsible for translation, as well as cognition of the auditory and visual stimuli. As such, cognition to such stimuli has become negatively affected. Consequently, people have become lazy as the alteration in the brain has disengaged people’s intellectual ability to interpret texts.
Accordingly, Richtel notes that researchers have found that the too much information has the ability to change the way people think. Consistent with Richtel, much incoming information also affects the ability of people to concentrate on other things. For that reason, people are unable to work effectively and efficiently on other things as they become indifferent in the absence of the gadgets. According to Richtel the ever developing neural networks are continuously being influenced by the changing learning skills (Richtel, 2010).
According to Carr, the traditional media such as the newspapers and television programs have also acquiesced to the internet craze in a bid to satisfy people’s expectations. He gives the example of the shortened articles and capsule summaries which are conspicuous in the pages that also provide easy browsing excerpts.
Carr also observes that the internet has significantly affected the way people communicate nowadays. He opines that as people are able to access information faster, so do they extract the ideas hence becoming more dynamic intellectuals. Richtel agrees with this observation by acknowledging that the new era of data and communication has ensured that things move faster.
Both Richtel and Carr in their articles agree that the internet has brought significance advantages but also acknowledge that heavy use of internet lead to profound concerns. People have become more attached to technology to the detriment of their family. According to Richtel, the understanding of the human brain keeps changing as the technology changes. The overdependence of people brains on the internet has made people forgetful hence the brains have become part of the technology. The brains have therefore embraced the notion that they are better off being supplemented by Google.
Carr, N. (2008). Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Atlantic. Retrieved from
Richtel, M. (2010). Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price. Technology, The New York
Times. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/37552618