Google Makes Me Smart

When we decide to search something on Google, are we really using are brains? That’s the real question. Is it really some type of monumental task or amazing accomplishment to suddenly pull up facts on Google that we may have not known, in hopes of garnering new information or impressing others? Are we the real heroes, or are we hiding behind Google?

In all honesty, I feel this way when I Google something. I’m always quick to jump onto my phone when someone has a question or when I want to know something. I’m even quicker to jump onto Google when I want to prove a point or prove myself right or someone else wrong. I’ll quickly search for what I am looking for and honestly get really excited when I turn out to be right. And, yes, of course, I get disappointed when Google proves me wrong about something, but I feel like part of me is still satisfied that I was able to get the information in the first place.

google-picture
From marketingdigest.com

Googling something isn’t being smart though. Sure, I feel pretty smart discovering information on Google and using it, but that doesn’t mean I actually am. If anything, Google is really just an all-knowing entity and I’m just a person going to it time and time again to take its information from it. It’s not a difficult process by any means, even if I or anybody might feel some type of sense of accomplishment when we Google and receive satisfying results of information. Carr even says on page 173 of The Shallows that “in Google’s world, which is the world we enter when we go online, there’s little place for the pensive stillness of deep reading or fuzzy indirection of contemplation… The human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive – and better algorithms to steer the course of its thought.” This quote goes to further emphasize my point on the fact on one hand that, we as people, aren’t smart, but need Google to boost us in that way. The quote also points out something else, saying really that Googling, much like using the internet I general, doesn’t really give us the ability to be thoughtful, to contemplate. How could we, with that amount of information at our finger types. Like Carr tries to emphasize throughout his book, are brains and are thought process are really changed by the Internet.

Author: Hannah Wo.

English major at UD.

5 thoughts on “Google Makes Me Smart”

  1. I’m very curious about your argument here. I agree that we as people have come to depend on the easy accessibility of Google to a point where it has sparked a lot of debate on whether or not it is making us more or less intelligent. Although I wonder whether, as you say, we come to Google already unintelligent to or perhaps the use of Google itself is making us more unintelligent. You argue that often times you turn to the search engine for confirmation of your own assumptions or to support ideas you already have formed, in that case wouldn’t the use of Google allow for further contemplation on knowledge you already had? Although I understand that the frivolous use of the all-knowing search engine could result in a decrease of unique thought due to its convenience. Could it then depend on how exactly Google is used? It’s an interesting thought.

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    1. I can see what you’re saying. I was sort of just musing about whether we really are as intelligent as we think we are. Before Google, or any other search engine for that matter, information had to be garnered from books and real-life experience. Now, I can find a 20 page thesis on astronomy or watch a quick video about it. Instead of searching in an active way for information, we can access it almost too easily.

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  2. I find your argument very interesting, and while I see where you are coming from, I disagree with some aspects of what you are saying. Like you, I do find myself constantly googling things I don’t know, but then after I use Google, I now know more than I did before. Also, the point you made about not being able to be thoughtful and contemplate is interesting to me. Most instances of me looking something up is because I’m curious and want to learn and think about a topic. Also, I feel like Google allows us to hold more intelligent conversations instead of ones filled with falsehoods. Your response definitely made me think a lot about this topic.

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  3. I enjoyed reading the points you made and I agree that Google is often used as a crutch instead of doing real work or that we rely too heavily on it. However, when doing research, a lot of times you find information through Google you wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. Or if you find the same fact from Google that you found in a 10 year old book, what difference does it make if the fact is the same? Google can be overused or used in pointless ways, but I believe in the end it is up to us to choose what information we want to note-take/process.

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  4. The use of your observations of ‘smart’ bothers me a little. I think what you mean is more precise? Smart is quite the broad categorization. I enjoyed this piece, but the ‘we’re not smart/we as people aren’t smart’ is pretty hard to digest. Maybe you meant we as critical thinkers? It just seems like too large a blanket statement with little backup. Other than that the crutch on Google is something I wrote about as well and I think it stood out due to being so core in our lives as young learners.

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