The beginning chapters of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr address the argument that the brain has been changed by technology. I don’t agree with Carr in the sense that technology has fundamentally changed our brains, but instead changed how we have to use our brains. A quote that really stood out to me in the first six chapters was: “The history of language is also a history of the mind”(Carr 51). Before the internet was a prominent part of society, how people used their minds was much different than today. I believe that the way we think and use our brains has evolved over time.
As technology has continued to revolutionize, so has the way our minds work. The language we use has also evolved with technology, and therefore, the language we use evolves with our mind. Carr explains how reading long books has become harder and harder with the development of platforms that allow you to connect to information much faster. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have altered our language. Words have become abbreviated and condensed in order to fit full thoughts into 140 characters. I personally find myself using slang that was born on social media platforms in conversations. Words like “yolo” have become an official word in the dictionary, and we need to adjust to the way language is evolving.
Going back to an article that was shared on Twitter, emoji’s have become a common aspect of our online language and often blur the lines of what we are trying to communicate. Speaking to each other through pictures is another advancement that our language has made, and our minds had to learn how to perceive and hold a conversation using those images. Language has grown tremendously from having no spaces between words to using images of smiley faces and vegetables to talk to each other. I believe while our brains are fundamentally the same, we use our minds in a different way in order to use today’s language to communicate. On the other hand, the new language has come with consequences like emphasizing the generation gap. The article linked earlier shows how an older generation can misinterpret language predominately used in texting and social media platforms. In order to seamlessly communicate with each other, every generation must conform their minds to the evolution of language and technology.