Beyond being a fantastic Pixies song, I ask, “where is my mind?” Nicholas Carr’s article, Is Google Making Us Stupid has opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t think the way I used to anymore.
I’m an English major and as much as I hate to admit it, my heart sings at the prospect of a lot of reading material; and it groans like a crotchety old man when it is presented with said material. I remember a time when I could sit down anywhere at any time and just read like no other. Now, I have to set time aside, hide away in my room or in a small corner of the library where all is quiet and time has stopped. I force myself into focus and start reading, but after the first few paragraphs my mind starts to wander. Usually once I’m seriously interested in something, I can continue reading the same piece at any time, but the fact that I needed to initially make myself read is disheartening.
Carr has talked to several people who are having the same experiences and some have stopped reading all together. It makes me feel better to know I’m not alone, but at the same time, change is scary.
Carr addresses the question, “is Google making us stupid,” I say no. Changing the way our minds work does not make us stupid, and it is not necessarily bad. Our brains are beautiful because they are adaptive. The fact that our minds are willing to change with the technology it is presented with is truly an amazing thing. Because of the internet, we have trained our brains to skim and scan for information. What used to take hours in the library, now takes minutes online.
In terms of writing, if anything, the internet has provided us with ways to get our point across without having to say anything at all. If my last single friend texts me saying they got engaged, I could easily reply “congratulations,” attach the Forever-Alone meme,
and they would know I mean I’m happy for them, but I feel as if I’m going to die alone.
As fantastic as this new way of thinking and communication is, we are leaving behind our old way of thinking. To which again I ask, “where is my mind?” Change is good, and I think as long as we are aware of these changes, we don’t have to completely abandon our old way of slow and deep thinking. I think if we take time out of our day to read for about an hour a day to retrain our brains to read, we can create a duel-thinking in which we can both read deeply, and scan informatively. But then again, that’s only if we’re willing to try.
This is Lauren The Largemouth Bass and this has been a fairly educated post.