As technology progress, we not only hear about the benefits that will come with this development but the increasing dangers as well. The question of whether or not the advancement is worth begins to creep up as each year’s new marvels become known. Within Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and Andrew Sullivan’s “I Used to Be a Human Being,” the ideas of the Internet’s threats to our individuality and consciousness become prominent and frighteningly clear. However, I believe that the Internet is like any tool in the sense that misuse of said tool can cause harm to anyone.
Millions of people over the past decade have become more and more connected through the internet yet simultaneously separated from one another as well. This example is one of both positive and negative outcomes of the Internet. With the push of a button, we can be in contact with anyone whether it be a police officer, a doctor, or a family member. At the same time, people have become so obsessed with staying in touch with people on their phones that they ignore the physical people in front of them. Sullivan’s article explains his break from the commotion of the Web and says, “I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living.” He recognized that he was losing the experience that come from living in the moment as opposed to the almost trancelike state of living through the Web.
Carr’s issue with the Internet comes from his change is reading habits. He found himself distracted and less able to connect to what he was exposing himself to on the Internet. Ironically, I read these two articles online and can’t deny the fact that reading them became difficult at points. In this new age of constant information, the challenge of sorting out the important from the unimportant is harder than ever. Yet, the possibilities that are open for us to allow for progress are too great to ignore.
The important thing to remember is moderation. Sullivan began to limit his exposure to the Web and began see a change within his habits. The Internet’s ability to connect and teach us is marvelous to say the least, but the Web needs to be used as a tool not a crutch. If we rely on it too much, we become slaves that will be unable to live without our technological masters.