You are on page 1of 2


When we give in to the natural impulse to click and skim, rather than to read and think, the internet may actually doing us a disservice: it shortens our attention spans and even inhibits our ability to read longer books and articles The internet is actually beginning to change the way we think. it makes it harder even when were offline to read books, as skimming takes over and displaces our modes of reading. It's not just Google Carr is talking about, but rather the structure and nature of the whole Internet. But he says that Google is very much the dominant player, and it both governs and symbolizes the way information is structured. Guttenbergs Printing press = makes reading universal; Internet is producing a revolution of its own that is once again changing how we structure everything Most effect is advantageous but some causes casualties such as prolonged reading and time for contemplation Many of his friends are also facing difficulties in fighting Internet-influenced attention deficit disorder.

As Scientific American reports, "Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. The more we do, the faster we think; the faster we think, the better we feel about ourselves and about the world around us. Thinking quickly may unleash the brain's novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward Searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults. The problem is that it tends to create this staccato quality of thought, where you jump from idea to idea as you jump from site to site. You get a lot of breadth of information, but you sacrifice depth. "Around 60 per cent of e-journal users view no more than three pages and a majority (up to 65 per cent) never return It's clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signs that new forms of reading are emerging as users 'power browse' horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense." The British Library: "The speed of young people's internet searching indicates that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority. Researchers have similarly found young people give a consistent lack of attention to the issue of authority. In one study, many teenagers thought if a site was indexed by Yahoo it had to be authoritative." National Literacy Trust: among 3001english and Scottish school children who blog or post on social networking sites have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing. 61 per cent of bloggers and 56 per cent of social networkers claiming to be "good or very good at writing" compared to 47 per cent of nonblogging, non-networking children. "Pupils who write online are more likely to write short stories, letters, song lyrics or a diary"

IS THE INTERNET MAKING US STUPID? By Gary Marshall When we invented the internet, people moaned that we'd forget how to think, which might be right. The 2008 report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, commissioned by the British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee, found clear evidence of the negative effects of internet use. Deep log studies show that, from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, 'flicking' behaviour in digital libraries. Society is dumbing down. In a series of experiments conducted at Harvard and Princeton universities, people were asked to think as quickly as possible by brainstorming ideas, speed-reading things on computer screens or watching video clips on fast-forward.

Technology isn't good or bad; it just is. When we use it wisely it improves our lives, and the very distractions that ruin our attention span also make us amazingly good at juggling massive amounts of information.

"That's why we love it and use it," Dr Small says, "because it really enhances our lives for the most part it's not going to harm us as far as we know, but I do think there are these subtler effects to which some people are more sensitive.