There was this interesting article on the Atlantic about Google and how it is making all of us who use it stupid. Honestly, i read it only because it was a part of my reading task for the Media Organization class. But, in retrospect i think it is a good thing i did read it when i did. Although, i thought the author had done a lot of homework and read a lot of history books before writing the article.
I did not think all his views were correct. All the arguments were based on the thoughts of a lot of people cleverly pieced together to make a sound logical argument. I agree to Nicholas Carr’s view that the Internet has changed the way people think, but i do not agree that it is google that brought about the change. Google revolutionized the change. People evolve, in the way they think, in the way they work, in the way they search, in the way they live. All google did was to act as a platform to facilitate the change.
It has in no way made people stupid. If someone wanted to read a book, they would just go out there and get one. I read books, i turn to google when i need specific information about anything. Someone said “I do not memorize what i can find in a book” and say “I don’t need to remember things i can find out from google (like, the weather!!!)”. But i know where to draw the line. Everybody does, no one looks for each and everything online.
Looking at the evolutionary aspect of things, man started out by drawing symbols and then assigned sounds to the symbols. Sounds started getting personalized to the regions and hence languages came about. Then came the writing, then the books, then the radio, then the television, then the computer and then the World Wide Web. At one point, the only information sources were books or news channels on the radio. Now that there is this huge platform to share literally anything one wants the whole world to have access to, people have a problem with it. Of course it is going to change the way you look at things, but it is not going to essentially change how you process the information you gather from various sources.
Moreover, we do not tend to forget things very easily unless we have selective amnesia or any other disorder of that sort. Think about it, your neighbours cat got stuck on the roof, would you forget all about it after you see all those people trying to help the poor dear out? You go to google, you look for something, 99999 times in a million, you get what you are looking for. End of story. You don’t keep going back to it unless you need to.
All that said and done, google has become a way of life. There will not be a day of life without someone telling you to “google it” at least once. It only goes on to show how much we rely upon the search engine for information and it has absolutely no relation with the mental status of people. But that is one man’s view.