In the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, author Nicholas Carr examines this idea that digital media is the next thing that’s physically altering our minds, and shares his experience with going through that process.  Being a digital immigrant, Carr notes how his psyche has noticeably changed since the dawn of digital technology, particularly in how short his attention span has become.  Carr and other peers of his remember a capability of ‘deep thought’, which he considers to be where the most important thinking happens, which has become much harder due to their inability to concentrate for long periods of time.  But why is digital media to blame?  Carr thinks that the culture of numerous pop-ups, short articles, and hyperlinking relative pages to each other in massive chains (in short, multiple sources of distractions) is to blame.  Ironically enough, this culture of distractions is exactly what companies like Google have learned to thrive on.  For every click, for every hyperlink that’s followed, every ad that is responded to, Google and other data companies receive and compile into huge databases that they use to try and create the quickest, most responsive, most intelligent system they can.  However, Carr and others like him worry that analyzing people in such a way might end up stripping them of their humanity in the minds of the analyzers; after all, the only thing they know of them is what’s on the web.


– Google’s mission statement, which includes a hyperlink to 10 beliefs of the company

– An article describing how personal information gathered by companies over the internet can be used against them

– Caricature negatively portraying how social media such as Facebook gives personal info to advertisers.

Discussion Q’s:

– Are you okay with a company such as Google having access to your personal information over the internet?

– What are some ways that we can ensure that our personal information is not used against us?

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