An obvious take-away from Carr’s The Shallows is that the internet has changed the way we are wired. The internet has rewired our brains and it seems there is no going back. Carr makes valid points when arguing that the internet could and might be our ruin. We are living and working in a technology driven culture but it is up to us to be mindful of all the power we truly have and use it effectively. It is crucial for us to not become slaves of technology and to use the Internet as one of the many tools in our toolbox instead. Of course, we are the beneficiaries of the Internet and the web.
Our phones are grenades – with them we have the power to blow something up. Not in the literal sense but in the sense that creates a ripple effect within a medium that reaches anyone worldwide. In chapter 8, The Church of Google, Carr poses the overarching question of whether Google is helping or hindering. On page 166 Carr states: “With writing on the screen, we’re still able to decode text quickly – we read, if anything, faster than ever – but we’re no longer guided toward a deep, personally constructed understanding of the text’s connotations.” I believe that, regardless of the influence of technology, we are always thinking about what we are reading, what we want to get from what we read, what we write and every little thing that comes along with our search and usage of the Internet. As a former Communications major I learned the obvious, that, as human beings – we are always communicating. From my personal experiences, every time I find myself on Google, what I am searching is strategic and purposeful.
In my Newswriting and Editing class, Victoria Reitano, came in to teach us about the latest and best Google search tools for newsgathering. All of the tools she showed us are a testament to Carr’s argument that Google is all about efficiency. However, I came to the conclusion that we are often curators instead of creators. In the traditional sense, a curator makes decisions about what objects to select, conducts research and shares that research with an audience. Whenever we find ourselves on Google we are finding content from existing sources and building a piece based on our knowledge and research. All of these aspects give us the power to effectively tailor a specific message to a specific audience whether it is ranging from a Tweet or an article. Below is a screenshot of the Google Trends homepage.
This is not necessarily what people are talking about but simply what they are searching for. The feelings on the topic are unknown and with this tool we have the power to influence our audience as well as know what they are looking for. Carr’s views on the Internet may be justified but it is essential to have faith in our rewired brains.