The Shallows by Nicholas Carr is all about how technology is causing our brains to change. That change is making it harder for us to engage with each other in ways we used to in the past. Carr seems to blame this all on our devices, but I don’t think that is very fair. We are the reason for these technological advances. Computers and phones wouldn’t keep advancing if we didn’t have such a reliance on them. Carr introduces this idea: “Even as our technologies become extensions of ourselves, we become extensions of our technologies”(Carr 209). Just as much as we need technology, technology needs us. Every year Apple comes out with a new phone because the last generation iPhone no longer fulfills our needs. Technology is only trying to keep up with our advancements.
Laptops, iPhone’s, and other technological devices have all become a part of our lives. I look at those types of devices as an extension of ourselves both physically and mentally. The image that goes along with this post represents how we are becoming one with our devices. I go everywhere with my phone in my hand, and if my phone is somewhere else I feel uncomfortable and like I’m missing something. Phones have become extensions of our physical bodies in the sense that we can never put them down. It’s as if they’re a part of our hands. Mentally, technology has also intertwined with who we are. Our devices hold so much information about our lives they are an extra part of our brains. My phone holds hundreds of songs that feels like a personal diary, thousands of photos that preserve my memories, and millions of texts that allow me to connect with people regardless of where they are. Technology may have consequences, but no one could live without it.
The second half of the book continues to address the idea that technology is changing who we are. Carr suggests that technology has become an extension of us just as we become an extension of our technologies. I agree with him in that sense, but if that’s true then why can Carr put so much blame on technology? He describes it as being reliant on us meaning technology couldn’t thrive without its consumer. Technology wouldn’t be advancing if it wasn’t for humans demanding and craving those new advancements. Carr’s blame for our problems on technology is not fair. We can’t blame technology because we can’t live without it.