I concur with Maryanne. Our reading habits today portray who we really are; people unwilling to think because of our reliance on the internet. Our minds have been modified into tools for receiving information. The reading culture among the people has changed over the years with their ability of understanding, interpreting and making a connection with a text, which only comes from deep reading is weakening. People have moved to the receiving end, always rushing through headlines, titles and skimming through long pieces of work. We are creating a new self that embraces efficiency and immediacy that comes with online reading. A self that is not willing to engage in meaningful thinking and come up with constructive conclusions. The development of technology from the televisions and printing press in the 70s and 80s, to the emergence of cell phones, computers and World Wide Web are factors to blame for this retrogressive reading habits. We have developed into people who rely on readily available information and cannot develop a mental circuitry for reading. Unlike speech, reading doesn’t come naturally because the mind has to be taught how to interpret information into the language we understand.
The debatable issue is how the internet has changed people’s reading culture. People have lost interest in reading and are more inclined to use the internet to get readily available information in the shortest time possible. This has lowered people’s concentration and weakened their ability to think.
The computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind in the 2001 scene haunts Carr. The computer expresses its fright pleading with the astronaut like a child. He is logical when he says that since the internet acts as a perfect search engine which understands what we mean and gives back exactly what we want, it’s only natural for people to over rely on it. In his ethical review, Carr says that the internet acts as our mind’s guide encouraging intellectual laziness; our minds can only take in what the internet offers.
The Jet Ski and scuba diver comparison explains the lowering of the author’s capacity to concentrate and contemplate. Before the internet, Carr would spend hours or even days researching on the text he intended to write. Currently, his mind is going through transition from one that can think to one that expects to take information the way the net distributes it.
The comparison further shows how Carr used to be an expert in word creation, but due to the internet his innovation is diminishing. The people and examples used show how we rely on the internet, and how this affects our intelligence. The internet acts as a rich source of readily available information. This has caused shallow reading and decreased concentration with some people gaining artificial intelligence.
Carr, Nicholas. The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google. New York: W.W.Norton and company, 2008.