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Sunday, February 26, 2012

We're Changing

Although I undoubtedly disagree with many points Carr makes throughout the novel, it’s hard to proclaim he is entirely wrong.  The specifics of exactly how the Internet is affecting our brains may never be solved, however, how could one argue that it isn’t affecting us at all?  How could one of the biggest changes in the way we perceive information in the history of mankind not affect the way we think?  The Internet changed everything.  It affects the way we research, communicate, express ourselves, find out the weather, and keep ourselves entertained ect.  It has to have an affect on our brains.  Whether or not it’s positive or negative is certainly not for me to decide.  I just want to share my story.
            On Page 16, after he explains the change in his thought process after using the Internet, Nicholas Carr states, “I missed my old brain.”  Although Carr is rather broad with that description, I can’t help but feel the exact same way.
Growing up I was never much of a numbers person.  As far back as I can remember, math has always been a struggle.  To this day nothing has changed.  However, while my arithmetic abilities hid in the shadows, my reading and comprehension skills flourished.  As a child, I’ve always loved to read.  Unlike math, I always knew that if I put the time into reading, the work would get done.  No matter what the length of the assignment, I could sit down, do the reading, and comprehend it fully.  I would often read for fun or at least to keep me busy. 
            Starting junior year of high school things began to change.  I noticed I was never reading for pure enjoyment, and felt irritated if I had to read for a school assignment.  I would find myself reading chunks of the pages but not comprehending what it said.  It was weird.  I found myself having to read things twice to take in the information.  It felt truly like the words were in one ear and out the other.  I could also feel myself getting anxious.  After about 20 pages, I would start to feel fidgety and had to take a break.  This process was annoying and made what was once a form of enjoyment, into a form of torture. 
            This continued throughout the rest of my high school career and into college.  Last semester I struggled so bad with reading that I asked my mother if I could seek help.  It doesn’t make sense that the older and wiser I become, the harder and harder reading became.  She insisted that I try harder and learn to focus more.  It’s clear that I don’t have a learning disability so why am I struggling so badly with something as simple as reading?  I still don’t have the answer but this book seems enlightening to me.  Although I can’t pin point exactly what’s happening it must have to do with technology.  What else could it possibly be?  There’s no way I’m simply getting dumber (I hope not at least).
            As I stated before, I don’t think Carr has all the answers.  However, I do think he is on the right track.  I know I am not alone as far as my inability’s to read thoroughly anymore.  Many people feel this way.  It’s something as a nation we must address.  How are we all going to think one hundred years from now?

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