In his 2008 article “Is Google Making us Stupid? ” Nicholas Carr, of the Atlantic Online, discusses the changes in the human mind from the insurgence and popularity of Google searches. Carr, like myself, believes that the Internet, ease of information online, and search engines like Google are in fact making people stupid.
The evidence for the lower IQs and way the human mind responds to information and questions floods the Internet, but you need not even look it up just ask someone a question. What response do you usually get, ” Let me look it up” or “Let me Google it.” The more impatient and exceptionally lazy go as far as to send you to LMGTFY.com, yes you guessed it the site is “Let Me Google That For You.” Are we truly so lazy in our intellect and interaction with each other we can no longer answer simple questions? What concerns me is not only the lack of knowledge, but the lack of the ability to THINK.
People are no longer able to reason or use logic to figure out simple problems they need a video tutorial or an online guide for just about everything. Is Google crippling the human race? I fear that not only our intellectual level will dramatically decline, but so will our ability to process information, learn new concept, socialize with other people, and perform tasks that should come easily to us.
I make a point to read every single day in a quiet room with no distractions. I turn off my phone when I read, and do not have noise or television on in my room whatsoever. I consider myself to be an intelligent person, and I know that one thing that makes me so is my love of knowledge through books. I Google things as much as the next person, but I do make it a point to see if I can figure out the answers first before I resort to the ease of information available on the Internet.
I think it is imperative that we balance the use of search engines and other online resources before we not only become stupid, but before we lose the ability to think or process information altogether without the aid of computer. I think simple steps to incorporate traditional learning and knowledge retention are vital to maintain a healthy balance of thought process. Reading books for 30 minutes a day, taking trivia quizzes, playing games like Trivial Pursuit, turning off spell checking on word programs,or other similar tasks that trigger our memory and thought processes can help tremendously.
However much I fear it, I believe our dependence on digital media, and artificial intelligence will only become stronger. Personally, the only thing which I do is govern my own thought processes and hone my intellect as best I can. I teach my children to use their minds and not the Internet, and encourage reading first and foremost in my household. I think like all things in life moderation is a necessity, but I hope the need for such search engines does not replace the human mind.