In our first two readings, Nicholas Carr and George Ulmer approach the Internet and digital media in two distinct ways. Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” approaches the Internet and its advantages with skepticism because he fears that the Internet “is chipping away…[his] capacity for concentration and contemplation.” I tend to agree that the Internet has changed my way of research, since I know that I can find information quicker and in more simplified terms scanning the Internet than I can scanning the library books. By becoming accustomed to the rapidly buzzing, whizzing, and whirling of the information transmitted over the Internet, I tend to also buzz and whiz around quickly, rarely stopping to slow down and dig deeper. A disadvantage of the Internet may reveal itself in readers becoming easily distracted while reading higher levels of texts, as I did while reading Ulmer’s “Introduction: Electracy.”
However, I think a certain beauty lies in this nature of the Internet. Oftentimes, I log on to the Web searching for a specific answer to a specific question. An hour later I find myself still on the Web, even though I answered my original question 45 minutes ago. Sure, the Internet provides many answers, fast and straightforward answers at that, but it also leads to something more. The Internet leads you to answers that you never realized you were seeking or information that you didn’t even realize was available.
Ulmer’s article sheds a more positive light on the Internet and he theorizes that individuals must unlock the full potential of digital media by developing unique skill sets. Currently, digital media is emerging as an apparatus to enhance human life and as we continue to integrate these types of media into our lives we can better our understanding of and our approach to the Internet. I believe as we do this we can also continue to develop more creative processes that become enhanced by using digital media.
Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for example. While Carr, along with other vocal social media users, might dismiss the challenge because it has resulted in a mere social media trend rather than an invitation to research the disease, I believe this challenge provides a perfect example of using the Internet to your creative advantage. This challenge combines the mindless entertainment often posted on social media with a serious message and goal. Since July 29, over 93 million dollars has been raised!
Upon studying these readings, I came across a couple questions. Both Ulmer and Carr mention the Internet affecting education. Have their been any conclusive studies that detail the effects of the Internet on one’s reading ability? In relation, I’d like to know if any studies have been completed to test the use of Internet on one’s creative ability as well. I think these studies could prove extremely beneficial in pointing us in the right step towards correctly integrating the Internet in our lives and the next generation’s lives.
Until next blog,