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Nicholas Carr's Firm Conviction About the Detrimental Impact of Modern Technology on Society

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‘Is Google Making Us Stupid’ by Nicholas Carr, it expresses how technology has affected our lives and changing the way we think and process things. It is also argues how the advancement of technology has affected our ability to read long pieces or to be able to keep information for a long period of time. The article exposes to what degree the Internet has affected our attention span and society. In addition, Carr uses the rhetorical strategies to try to persuade the readers into believing that the Internet affecting humans in a harmful way. He use rhetorical devices to help him achieve his argument by, playing with the reader’s emotions, using research, and his and other’s experiences. Carr uses these strategies to try to convince the readers that today’s technology has been damaging our thinking and learning processes.

Carr begins the article with a quote from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ showing the comparison to technology to humans. Thus showing that the technological advances of today, is diminishing the line between humans and computers. Carr then continues to put fear into the reader’s mind by stating how the founders of Google, are trying to attach artificial intelligence to people’s minds. Connecting this to the character mentioned in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, since it was a computer but could feel like a human. Carr then expresses how something like this would be “unsettling” relating to the reader’s emotions. As well, “the human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive”. By comparing the human brain to a computer, the reader is expose to the idea of computers “taking over”. The thought of being taken over is terrifying, therefore making it an example of pathos. The article make the reader’s fell worried or scared, when expressing how the internet has invaded majority of the human’s life and time. Carr also uses imagery to attract the reader. An example of this would be when he talks about the way he loses focus in a text and that he feels like he is “dragging his wayward brain back” to whatever he was reading. Carr uses this metaphor, to show the reader how difficult it is for him to stay focused on a reading. By appealing to the readers imagination and touching the readers emotion Carr is trying to achieve the purpose of convincing the reader of the unhealthy growth in technology.

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Carr then goes on to describe the positive ways the Internet has influenced his life. But then states, “But that boon comes at a price,” showing that there is a price to pay for the Internet. Carr then states that the Internet is causing people to want fast information, instead of reading long pieces of information. Carr speaks through his own experience as well. For instance, he states that “the Net is becoming a universal medium” for him, showing the reader that Carr is just like any other person who uses the Internet. By stating this, the reader can see that Carr can relate to the difficulty states in his article. In addition, Carr states that everyone has stopped reading books and articles including those who write them due to the Internet. For example, “Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether'. Therefore , Scott Karp is experiencing exactly what Carr has experienced. Because Carr shows that he is not the only one experiencing this, the reader can be convinced that this others are experiencing his issue. This causes the reader to relate and trust Carr’s experiences, appealing to ethos.

However, Carr also provides different studies and experiments in order to appeal to logos. For example, he writes about a “study of online research habits, conducted by scholars from University College London”. Carr is using this as evidence to support his argument. Carr focuses on that people don’t read like they used to due to the speed of the internet. Carr states that, “research that once required days in the stacks or periodical room of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after”. He uses logo to show the advancement of google and the internet compare to the days before computers. Carr also uses metaphors to appeal to logos. For example, Carr writes about how the clock causes us to stop “listening to our senses” and start “obeying the clock”. Even though the clock is not the Internet, his shows how advance technology has affected us. Therefore, Carr shows that new technology really does change the mind. This helps achieve Carr’s purpose since the Internet is a new technology, it begins to control us just like clocks have.

Nicholas Carr uses three rhetorical devices to help achieve his argument: Ethos, Logos and Pathos. The rhetorical devices ethos is allows there to be a connection with the reader and he author by providing example that the readers can relate to. However Logos is presented most in this article since it contains a lot of supporting information and references. Logo is presented to often in the article that it results in the reputation of information. By repeating so much supporting information, it will cause hem to really think about Carr’s argument. Pathos was developed through the use of installing fear into the reader by expressing the possibility of being overtaken by new technology like the Internet. These rhetorical feature help achieve Carr purpose of his main argument in the article against the Internet. By using these devices, it helps the readers view technology differently and leave readers wondering. Carr indorses his argument in a logical, emotional and relatable way that convince the reader that the Internet has indeed affected us. Due to these rhetorical devices Carr does achieve his purpose of persuading readers to believe his argument. However, even if the readers don’t agree or believe that technology is harmful they will still view technology different.

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Nicholas Carr’s Firm Conviction About the Detrimental Impact of Modern Technology on Society. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Nicholas Carr’s Firm Conviction About the Detrimental Impact of Modern Technology on Society.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Nicholas Carr’s Firm Conviction About the Detrimental Impact of Modern Technology on Society. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
Nicholas Carr’s Firm Conviction About the Detrimental Impact of Modern Technology on Society [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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