It has been claimed by an Internet expert that Google, and other forms of technology upon which we rely for otherwise simple actions, could be making us less able to think for ourselves. The overreliance on technology is, in author Nicolas Carr’s opinion, impeding our ability to think and work things out for ourselves.
One such technological invention that also came under fire was satellite navigation (satnav) – as people who rely upon them to get where they are going often ignore road signs, have little or no sense of direction and sometimes even end up in the middle of fields, unaware of where they are or how they got there… this one’s from personal experience!
Nicolas Carr has just written a book entitled ‘The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains’ and in the book he claims that with information being instantly available on Google, we are losing our ability to work things out for ourselves – as anyone who’s ever been to a pub quiz with a Smartphone would testify.
Carr added that people who use the Internet regularly are so used to digesting information in small chunks that they’re now unable to concentrate for longer periods to, for example, read a book.
In an incredible contradiction to everything that web designers and developers have been told, Carr believes that Google (and other information websites) should be redesigned so that they are more difficult for people to use. This of course goes too far – as if you wanted a search engine that was difficult to use and took longer to find what you wanted, there are plenty to choose from. It’s the ease with which Google works, and finds information quickly, that has made it so popular in the first place.
“In many ways I admire Google, but I think they have a narrow view of the way we should be using our minds.”
“They have this… view that everything’s about how efficiently you can find that particular bit of information you need – and then move on to the next.”
By Nicolas Carr’s comments it seems that Bing users are therefore more intelligent than Google users because they have to work harder to find what they’re looking for!