Rhetorical Analysis Final Draft

The Illusion That Google Is Making Us Stupid

In the article by Nicholas Carr, the main purpose is for him to convey how the internet and more specifically, Google, have caused his reading ability to diminish at a rapid rate. The target audience of his article is not only the people that read The Atlantic on a daily basis, but is targeting the middle-aged who haven’t grown up with technology. Teenagers and the up and coming generation have grown up with technology everywhere. It is included in how they learn and is part of their everyday entertainment. The people who are struggling are those who have had to transform there reading style to be internet savvy. The article is written in a form of narrative nonfiction. Nicholas gives factual information, but he is also telling how he has been impacted by the art of “skimming”. Skimming is where you look over text and only look for the important details. They may be in bold form, italicized or even underlined. Nicholas also speaks about how a friend of his has been affected by this and can no longer read a book that he used to find a fairly easy and interesting read.

The one reassuring thing I thought about this article was that the thesis was upfront and not something that you had to decipher from the text. Although it is a simple thesis, I also think that it is a tad controversial. Is Google making it easier for information to be found? Absolutely, but that does not necessarily mean that it is making it’s users stupid. If anything, it is making us more sufficient and in this day and age is something that you must be in the work place or someone better is going to come along and push you out. If we look at the age group that Carr is coming from, he obviously grew up reading the newspaper and did not get an ipad for his sixth birthday. They also had to work really hard to find the tiniest details of information. You read a 300-page book and maybe you find the information you are looking for. You type key words into the Google search bar, and millions of search results are displayed in seconds. The teenagers and young adults of this generation wake up every morning and the first thing they do is check their phones and head for the feeds containing the latest updates from all their friends. Whether it be from Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook, everyone wants to be connected with each other.

Something that catches the attention of the readers is catalyst. Nicholas begins his article by expressing how he has noticed his brain changing over the years. He could not physically see a change but mentally, he felt different. Nicholas gets the readers wondering, “Why does he feel different? What is going on in his brain? How does this relate to Google?” Nicholas made it seem like he was going through something traumatic. Of course not being able to read long books anymore can be a bit mind boggling, but there are much more traumatic things to happen to a human being in this day and age. Because Nicholas states in the beginning that his mind has changed for the worse, his readers are frothing at the mouth wondering what is going on with his brain.

Nicholas supports his main claim that Google is making us stupid, by using himself and his friends as examples. He goes on to explain how he is no longer able to read lengthy publications, or able to visualize the text in his mind. Carr’s mind wanders and cannot focus on the task at hand. He is not really reading and taking in the text, he is just looking at the words. A linkage can be found at the end of a paragraph when Nicholas explains how the type of text that is read on the internet has caused the ability to interpret text and make mental connections that come when you read deeply and without distraction has become disconnected.

In order to make a statement along the lines of technology making humans stupid, the author needs to look at all age groups. He is implying that Google is making everyone stupid and technology will not be a good part of our future. Personally, I do not find that my ability to read books and become engaged in what I am reading diminishing because of the type of text that is found on the internet. Elderly or middle-aged people are going to find it difficult to make the transition. They have not grown up around these technologies like kids have. To say that our intelligence is going to flat line into an artificial intelligence is far-fetched. Technology is going to take intelligence to the next step, not diminish it.

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