A Critical Analysis Of The Shallows By Nicolas Carr

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¬¬¬¬¬The internet has become a source for everything nowadays. Shopping, communication, research, all things that required separate trips to different places before, can now be done on one device from one place. Perhaps the most beneficial out of all of these is the research aspect of the internet, as information on almost any subject can be found within seconds with a simple search. But at what cost does this information come? According to Nicolas Carr, the author of The Shallows, this abundance of knowledge will in fact hinder our intelligence from growing. He believes that, “With each expansion of our memory comes an enlargement of our intelligence¬. The Web provides a convenient and compelling supplement to personal memory, but when we …show more content…
If people are using the Web simply to look up quick little bits of information instead of taking the time to learn them they will be much less likely to memorize the knowledge that they are using. With all this information accessible with another quick search there is no need to commit to memory what they are learning. While it may make access to information quick and easy, Carr believes this will negatively impact our cognitive process. He believes that this availability of facts and data whenever we want it will,”… place[s] more pressure on our working memory, not only diverting resources from our higher reasoning faculties but obstructing the consolidation and the development of schemas”(Carr 192). With such ease of access we will eventually use it as a crutch for our knowledge and intelligence, hindering the intellectual growth of our generation. However, this is only if the internet is used in a certain …show more content…
In Carr’s assumption, he is implying some laziness in human nature, indirectly assuming that people would much rather look up a quick fact and be done with it after rather than memorize the actual fact for later use. This assumption, is simply not true. Many people use the internet for extensive research on topics that will much further their understanding of concept, not simply give them little bits of information that will be forgotten. However, it is true that there are things on the internet that students and adults alike will look up simply for a quick use. This is not hindering their learning, as Carr believes, but enhancing it. The quick bits of information that they are looking up are most likely little concepts or small parts of a main idea that they are learning. That little bit of information will be forgotten soon, but the students understanding of the overarching topic will greatly increase as a result. This is shown most clearly shown through students using calculators. Since they were,” No longer forced to spend a lot of time on routine calculations, many students gain a deeper understanding of the principals underlying their exercises”(Carr 192). Since they were using this information to supplement their learning instead of in place of it, they were able to gain much more out of it, and the same is true with the

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