Digital Literacy essay

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Information technology in the modern era has both critics and advocates. Several years ago, classical philosophers complained that the new writing methods that use technology contribute to the forgetfulness among the learners. This is because learners fail to make use of their memories. Google and other internet search engines are the new technologies. It is with no reasonable doubt that everybody loves Google because of its effectiveness in delivering useful information about almost everything. However, people fail to understand that what make people intelligent are their ability to think deep about any given information and not the ability to find a lot of information quickly and easily. Brain scientists discovered that deep thinking involves attention that can only happen in calm brains. In as much as technology is all good to the society, it has several negative effects. According to Nick Carr, the author of ‘’The Shallows” Google is making us stupid. This is a fact analysed and concluded through extensive studies and professional reports (Carr, 2008).

Reports commissioned by different institutions have found clear evidence on the negative effect of using the internet and Google. These reports that involve deep studies have clearly indicated that, learning institutions exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow and horizontal flicking behaviors which is making the society foolish. Richer thoughts are encouraged by greater concentrations. However, the internet and Google brings destruction and alters the brain’s capacity of critically thinking about facts and relevant information. The internet bombards users with messages and bits of data which bring about the interruptions that break the train of thoughts in the human brain. As the internet or Google user zips across web pages, there is a tendency of theses search engines making the user want to go fast by clicking links and skimming through pictures and literature making them think superficially and discouraging the normal use of the brain itself(Carr, 2008).

The reading style promoted in the internet search engines like Google weakens the conventional reading styles whose capacity needs deep reading and understanding. Online reading encourages mere deception of the portrayed information. The ability to interpret the text and making rich mental connections out of it remains largely disengaged. According to Carr (2008), reading is not an instinctive skill etched into the human genes as speech is. Minds have to be taught and trained in order to translate the symbolic characters seen in languages and texts. The media and technologies used in learning and practicing the craft of reading play important roles in shaping the neural circuits within the human brains. The internet and Google interfere with these reading variations that extended across many regions of the brain. It is clear that the brain circuits woven by the internet are different from those woven by reading of books and other printed works.

People’s thoughts have gradually adapted to computer based patterns that chips away their contemplation and concentration capacities. The internet is like an ecosystem of interruption technologies where every little distance of the screen attracts the users and continually encourages them to click and chase after new links and web pages. This is compared to surfing on the sea’s surface because the movement between pieces of information is no longer in-depth immersion. Google does not really care if users dwell on what they have found. On the contrary, it turns into some advertisement tool when users keep clicking on the links (Bauerlein, 2008).

According to “The Flight from Conversation” (2012), technology and internet access have made communication easier. However, studies show that the internet has negative impacts on the social lives of the users. People have millions of friends on social networks but they do not physically interact with them. It is also clear that the internet has destroyed lifestyles, families and friend links loosened through excessive use of the net and Google. Relatives barely have time for each other. They would rather go through their mails and brag about something new in the market than enjoy a quiet and nice meal with their families or friends (Gabriel, 2010). Google has made students extremely lethargic. They spend a lot of time scheming through web pages just to get it over or without even paying close attention to the information they access. This is because almost all the information they need is available in Google and this interferes with the creative recreational abilities of their brains.

According to a several experiments conducted in a series of fields required people to think as quickly as possible by brainstorming ideas on issues in different disciplines, speed-reading things on computer screens and watching fast-forward video clips. The findings make it clear that the participants felt more creative, elated, energetic and powerful in these fast thinking activities. On the other hand, activities that involved the use of internet search engines like Google made the participants race from link to link without paying much attention and lessened their concentrations (Bauerlein, 2008).


Scientific studies show that the brains of multitasking internet users change gradually as a result of their behavior. This makes them less intelligent. They are weak in cognitive processes such as: imagination, reflection, mindfulness and critical thinking. Despite the many benefits that accrue from the new digital age of the media and technology, it bares the consequence of making people less interesting. This is because contemplative moments that characterized previous decades and centuries are decreasing as the years pass. If people are really interested in developing their minds, they should turn off their computers and technological gadgets and begin rethinking with their own brains. This is because all the facts in this essay are available in Google but the only way to be brilliant needs more than just Google.

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