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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Christian Lavoie

Christian Lavoie
The Shallows blog

It seems that Nicholas Carr’s main point for The Shallows is that, as a whole, today’s society has a much shorter attention span than previous generations due to the convenience of the internet. On the contrary, Carr also brings up a positive towards his theory on the internet. He feels that even though we have shorter attention spans, we are actually reading more, getting clever, and achieving a higher intelligence of a wide variety of subjects. I couldn’t agree more with this statement and I find it mind-boggling that people don’t think about it more often. The internet holds pretty much all known information on the planet, so when we log onto our laptops we all have our own personal machine with an answer to just about anything.
Just the other day I was stumped on my pre-calculus homework. I did not have my book and I did not know how to do any of the problems. Conveniently, I just logged onto my laptop and entered how to solve the individual problems into Google. Just as if I had my book with me, I was sitting in front of a source that took me step by step through the problems. Fifty years ago if I was in the same situation my homework would not be getting done. This is just one of many examples of how the internet’s vast amount of information can save us.
The fact that we could have almost any question answered just by typing a few words on a machine is exactly what Carr is talking about. Carr believes that having such a machine is great for us. He quotes Muses Davis saying, “The internet may have made me a less patient reader, but I think that in many ways, it has made me smarter.” (Carr 8) With the amount of time a day we spend on a machine with so much information, there is no doubt that we are picking up new intelligence everyday along the way.
I feel that due to the new technology our society has gained over the years, our generation has been labeled as being lazy kids who sit in front of computer and TV screens all day and don’t learn or do anything. I think that people would be surprised to find out that children today are actually reading more than ever. Carr states, “Because of the ubiquity of text on the Net and our phones, we’re almost certainly reading more words today than we did twenty years ago.” (Carr 88) It only makes sense that if we are spending an incredible amount of time on the internet then we are bound to read a lot.
It is true that our attention spans are diminishing, but there is a silver lining to it all. People are reading more and increasing their intelligence. In my opinion, I would like to hear Carr talk about that more. The human mind is constantly changing and this is just another instance of that. The brain is evolving into a more intelligent and faster brain to keep up with the new technology. I think that by this happening people are becoming better off and more aware of the world they are living in. The human race has gotten smarter since the caveman days and it continues to do so today.


  1. Christian, I completely agree with you. I think the internet holds so much information for us to find. Like this blog for example. By using the internet to discuss this book, by reading each others posts and responding, we are learning. Before reading the book, I may have thought about what technology was doing to our generation a few times here and there, but now after discussing it, I have come to grow a strong opinion. Truthfully, I wouldn't have been able to do that without logging online and taking the time to read all these blogs. And I'm sure that could be the case for others as well. By contributing online to this blog, we are learning.

    - Michelle Krupnik

  2. I personally feel like acess to the internet has made me smarter. But sitting at a computer several hours a day tring to do research has made me dumber. After banging out a few papers or googling reliable research artices I feel like my brain is melting I just need to relax and get away from a computer and the internet.
    Kelsey Coighlin