Essay on 'Is Google Making Us Stupid' Summary

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The internet has altered the way people live today some may believe it has opened their minds intellectually, but others like Nicholas Carr strongly infer the internet negatively affects the human brain by changing the way people learn or read. Nicholas Carr's article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” effectively informs the readers about the negative impacts and dangers technology has on people today by establishing his credibility as an informed author which helps him prove his logical claims. Carr also instills apprehension in the audience to think harder about the claims and take them seriously. (stakes, why is your essay important? Why is analyzing his rhetoric important)

Nicholas Carr was inspired by the ending scene of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He wrote an article called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” that was published by the Atlantic in 2008. The purpose of this article is to warn internet users of the damage it does to the way they read and think. Carr claims the internet has reset people's cognitive function.

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The author, Nicholas Carr, has written The Shallows and The Glass Cage: Automation and Us. He has also written for several newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and even The New York Times. His article about Google was published by The Atlantic in 2008. Carr argues web browsers such as Google, are preventing human's ability to think, read, and concentrate deeply. He believes it has reprogrammed human brains restricting their access to deep cognition. Carr targets those who frequently rely on Google and those who dedicate their days to scrolling through the internet. He does not want the human mind to be robbed of the ability to deep think. Carr wants to encourage those users to use the internet less often to ensure the safety of deep cognition.

In Carr’s article, he establishes his credibility through the use of situated ethos and invented ethos. He is known for his work that mainly involves the use of technology resulting in his credibility for this article. Carr also uses many sources that vary from his friends to blogs on the internet about how the way they read has changed. The choice of blogs as sources for this article is effective due to the fact the bloggers are normal people with normal lives giving the chance for his audience to connect to those bloggers. He cites a blogger, Scott Karp, who was a literary major in college and confessed he has not been reading books as much as he used to. Karp states the internet is more convenient to read than books, and believes the reason why he reads on the internet Is due to the change of his way of thinking. The use of Karp’s blog establishes credibility by showing the audience a literary major, who has experience in reading, is struggling to read as much as others. Having another person experience this realization, reveals to the reader the article is not just based upon the opinions of the author. 

Carr provides a new logic for understanding the internet and its dangers. He provides anecdotes from research studies and historical figures and their form of new technology. For the research, the scholars gave two people either e-books or journal articles and the other had written information. The scholars witnessed the person who had the e-books skimmed through the information, only reading a few pages in total. {Insert transition here}. Carr uses historical figures to use the comparison from the earlier forms of technology to today's. He quoted Friedrich Nietzsche, a writer in the 1880’s, Nietzsche's vision was failing. He had trouble focusing on pages and writing, which led him to buy a typewriter. As soon as he began writing with the typewriter, Nietzsche’s friends noticed his writing style was different than before. They realized their thoughts in writing heavily depended on the quality of tools they used to write with. The use of including Nietzsche shows how technology has advanced throughout the years and humans have to accept the new forms of technology. (Why is this logical argument important) Carr also states before technology, many people would have to go through stacks of books to find information on a topic however, now all it takes is a click of a button. By being able to easily search a topic within seconds, people tend to skim through the information only trying to find the main point or even use the search and find a tool, resulting in the reader not deeply reading the information. 

Pathos has also contributed to the work of the article. Carr begins the article with a quote from the “2001: Space Odyssey” and then uses it to convey his feelings about the changes in his brain. “I can feel it, too. Over the past few years, I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading.”

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Essay on ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid’ Summary. (2024, April 10). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
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