Our environment is moving at a pace faster than most can keep up with. This change Carr partially attributes to the changes in the internet. Early in the second half of The Shallows, Carr writes how IQ scores have been increasing since before World War 2. This change may be influenced by technology but there are many other factors that come first in Carr’s mind. The idea that technology can change our minds, in both negative and positive ways, is a concept that I have now been thinking about. Carr writes, “there needs to be a time for efficient data collection and time for inefficient contemplation, time to operate the machine and time to sit idly in the garden” (168).

In this quote, I find that Carr is showing the reader that the internet doesn’t have to be as deep if we do not want it to be. I admire the idea of separating time for one’s own thoughts before using a machine. After beginning this class, I have found myself more aware of how and when I use my phone. I used to respond to Snapchats, emails and texts instantly after leaving class and would continue this until I was home. Now, each time I reach for my phone, I think, “do I need to do this right now?” Many times the answer is “no”. I now put my phone away as I leave the building and admire this beautiful campus on my walk to my next destination.

Since technology is encouraging us to use it, we forget what nature and our own brains can bring us to do also. Nature can trigger us psychologically. Trees and wind and even those who walk by us can change the way our day goes. When looking at technology, we are a horse with blinders on, blocking out everything that isn’t digitalized. We need to revert back to noticing the environment around us and finding a balance between when technology is used and when we think for ourselves before asking those on the internet.

Our enjoyment of nature through our phones memory. Photo by: Justin Hamilton

Carr doesn’t deny that technology is negative in this section, but just points out the reality that having a balance in life is key. I would like to focus on this balance more in my life to enjoy what is happening around me as well as knowing what is going on in the world I live in.


Author: Mackenzie

With a mix of knowledge, I strive to compile English, psychology and advertising to enhance the digital world.

5 thoughts on “Mindset”

  1. This is something I really believe in. As society is becoming more and more digitized, we tend to live our lives through our phones more and more, as well. If i go on a hike or a walk through the woods or witness the sky being particularly pretty, my first reaction is to take out my phone and upload it to Snapchat. I am more worried with documenting the landscape I see in front of me than actually experiencing it and enhancing my personal memory of it. This is also something that I want to be more mindful of.


  2. You mention your awareness of your dependence toward these technologies. My question is what’s stopping from decreasing that dependency? Is it as hard as you think it is?

    This summer, I was living in the mountains of Colorado, doing work with the Forest Service. I spent my whole summer living in a tent, like a dirtbag. But I couldn’t have felt more alive, and I couldn’t have felt happier with the freedom I felt. Many days would go by without even the slightest blip on my phone. And you know what? It wasn’t that hard. I had nature. I had other stimulants surrounding me at all times, so distraction was as easy as a walk outside my tent. So maybe I was advantaged with beauty and natural wonders, but I too believe that if you wanted to take a step back from the clamor of your phone, you can.


  3. On a beautiful day like this, it’s unnerving to see how many people are still on their phones instead of taking in the sunshine. I definitely find myself using my phone less and less as I walk around campus. I try to take more notice of the environment around me. Carr’s suggestion that we need to balance our technology and our interaction with reality is a valid one.

    I truly enjoy the picture you chose. Sometimes I feel like we are so anxious to capture the beauty in front of us, that we miss out on actually experiencing it. I have to admit, I am guilty of doing this myself. I will see a beautiful sunset or scenery and immediately take out my phone to take a picture. I think I’ll start following your advice of putting my phone away in unnecessary moments.


  4. I do want to disconnect at points and be more aware of when I am on my phone. I do like to always have my phone because I want to be able to connect with my family. But that shouldn’t stop me from not allowing myself to check my phone once I am outside or setting other rules for myself.


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