You will have probably noticed that, while it is still Thursday, that it definitely is not 10:00 AM. Regardless, I remain dedicated to the assignment at hand. And quite frankly, I blame the Internet. And myself. Mainly myself, though.
Nicolas Carr’s The Shallows, as we are all more than well aware (hopefully), tells the not-so-fictional tale of how the new age of the Internet has affected our minds for better or for worse. While I have admittedly not been reading as much as I should be, I can’t help but feel that from what I’ve read that this behavior has become inevitable for me. The internet has become a super-library of information hurled at us in big sweeping waves of key points and rapid-fire access. Information that we would have once had to have scoured through books and other related media can now be accessed in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Not only that, but the method of information sharing that has become popular on the internet has taken on a much shorter format with essential and pertinent information given to us in the titles and paraphrased in the articles. With such a drastic change of timing, this new method of research definitely has helped millions, if not billions, access more information far more quickly than before. But as Carr emphasizes, it comes with a price.
Even as I was reading The Shallows, I found myself getting exasperated and tired reading through each page, constantly thinking there are much better things I could be doing with my time. Yet at the same time, I became self-aware and almost guilt-ridden as Carr eloquently stated what has happened to our minds and describing almost exactly what I was thinking and feeling. It almost makes the book feel self-aware (even though it’s really just you becoming self-aware and not willing to accept that you’re the one making mistakes) when Carr describes how some would rather take “a minute or two to cherry pick the pertinent passages using Google Book Search” when you simultaneously “[don’t] see any reason to plow through chapters of text” (8). The appeal of audiobooks in recent time has boomed partially in response to our changing psyche. We have reached a point in society where some people can’t be arsed to read anything themselves anymore and would rather pay for someone else to read to them, just so they could still go about doing “the more important”things in life at the same time.