information_overload                    Reading on a Computer while Thinking of Other Things

Reading on a Computer while Thinking of Other Things

Looking at my own experience as a student who is constantly exposed to digital media, now more then ever, I found a lot of the points made in these texts valid but not something I could relate to 100 percent.  In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Nicholas Carr claims that with digital media, he does not think the way he used to. He really feels that shift in thinking while he is reading. Immersing himself in a lengthy article used to be easy but now he easily loses concentration and feels like he is dragging his brain as he reads from one page to the next. In my freshman year of college, a lot of the readings I had to do for my classes were online.  I became accustomed to reading the screen and sometimes looking at other unrelated webpages at the same time. Even though most of my material was online, there was one class that I had to read my texts in any actual book, Expository Writing. I did feel a little uncomfortable shutting down my laptop and just focusing on the book. In the midst of the silence, it was just me and the readings in the book, and I sort of had the desire to read my headphones to avoid that silence.  Contrary to Carr’s experience, I did not feel like I was dragging my brain from one page to the next. It was a little different than how I would normally read, but I always managed to internalize what I was reading.

All of the three texts discuss the potential and current dangers that overexposure to the digital word can create. They all address concerns about the immediate access to information on the Net. The Internet had become such a powerful media source that almost consumes a lot of people. In “The Coming Apocalypse” , Richard E. Miller says that the Internet’s communicative powers exceed preceding technologies for enabling and enhancing human understanding combined.  While on the Internet, any decent human being can put his/her intelligence on the line by making their thoughts available on a global scale. Nicholas Carr also discusses how the Internet has become so universal. It is where he receives the most information that flows through his eyes and ears and into his mind. Socrates believed that printed material would make youth wrongly think that they had accessed the heart of knowledge. The author of “Learning to think in a Digital World worried how many children would become just decoders of information who do not have the time and motivation go beyond the text.