A Changing World
One of the main assertions of The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brains, by Nicholas Carr, is that the Internet is changing the way that people are reading. Carr describes how he used to read before he started spending a lot of time on the Internet. He used to be able to read in great depth and get lost in the pages of a book. Now, Carr says after using the Net for quite some time, he is hardly able to read more than a few pages without getting distracted or bored. As Carr proves throughout his book, the brain is able to be altered and changed. Neurons in the brain are always taking on new functions and are reprogramming themselves. The Internet is a major factor in the dramatic changes being made in brain functions today. The short and easy-to-read pages of the Net can increase the brain’s tendency to skip and skim, and people are losing the ability to remain focused long enough to read an entire book.
The short story “Coming to an Awareness of Language”, by Malcom X, demonstrates how reading in great depth expands knowledge and opens new worlds. When Malcom X entered prison he had a very limited vocabulary and hardly knew how to read or write. While in prison, he gained access to a dictionary, which he used to teach himself how to read and write. He then went on to read extensively and a brand new world was opened to him. It is questionable whether or not he would have had the same experience if he had had access to the Internet. He may have been able to learn new vocabulary utilizing the Net, but the repeated exposure to the shallowness of the internet may have hindered his ability to fully read the many books that helped him gain knowledge of the broader world.
The Internet is very useful and helpful in numerous ways. A search engine, like Google, is able to give us quick and easy access to almost anything on the World Wide Web in just a couple of clicks of the mouse. Although the Net has so many positive things...