Tag: Nicholas Carr

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Does the Net Necessitate Social Media?

It’s the question I seriously ask in context of web users’ constant state of distraction and increasing inability to concentrate for long periods. Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains looks at this state of distraction. I’ve blogged posts: “Internet Attention Deficit Disorder” and “Of Course, Technology Changes You.” Are people losing their minds, so to speak, only to gain another—group mind—through online social interaction?

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Of Course, Technology Changes You

Over the weekend, I unexpectedly read New York Times Op-Ed “Mind Over Mass Media,” by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker. Professor Pinker rallies for the status quo, argung that “new forms of media have always caused moral panics…but such panics often fail basic reality checks.” He talks of a panic, but I don’t see one. However, there is a new book generating some debate—Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. The Op-Ed is rebuttal without reference.

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Internet Attention Deficit Disorder

Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, may be the defining manuscript of the World Wide Web era; so far. I haven’t read the book yet, but I have followed Nicholas’ writings leading up to The Shallows. I get his point, because I’ve experienced it. He merely wraps research around the experience. The point: Interaction with the Web changes how we think, in part by rewiring how we consume information. Attention spans are shorter and tasks like reading a long magazine article or book are harder.

In June 2008, I read a short post by Nicholas linking to his Atlantic story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?