Christian Counseling: Is Technology Making Us Stupid?

The title is a takeoff from Nicholas Carr's well-known 2008 article in The Atlantic magazine, Is Google Making Us Stupid? In reading his article online I experienced what he highlighted as a major problem with Internet use--loss of concentration, focus, short-term memory and deep thought. He stated he could only skim much of what he read, if the content was over a few paragraphs. Ironically, his article was too long for me. He was adding to the Internet problem and ruining my ability to read, comprehend and remember. Perhaps I should take some Ginkgo Biloba and go back to his article. See, I am off on a tangent.


Getting back to the point of this blog... Studies have shown this is a serious issue. In Larry Rosen's 2011 article in The National Psychologist, The Google effect: Training our brains, he discussed some of the research related to the effect of Internet use. Preschoolers who watched a fast paced scene change of SpongeBob SquarePants compared to those with a slower paced show exhibited a reduction in creativity, problem solving ability and self-control. Another study revealed that video game addicts lose gray and white matter--the brain shrinks. Another point of research showed that people better remember where they stored information than what the information was about.

A savvy writer once told me that free Internet articles should be less than three pages and blogs short, if I want people to read them and not click onto another site. She said Internet users attention-span is very short. With frequent Internet use and overwhelmed by its volume of information, people want, expect and feel they need to get what they want in a paragraph or two, unlike how writers do their thing. 

Are you aware of what Internet use is doing to you? It seems it makes you smarter and dumber. 

I quickly close (so not to lose you) with Carr's articulate ending sentence from his article. "In the world of 2001 [the movie], people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence."

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