Friday, February 19, 2010

Does Google or the Internet Make Us Stupid?

You may have read about the hypothesis - Does Google or the Internet make us stupid? I think that's the wrong question to ask. It's not what you use, but how you use it. This definitely applies here when you are talking about a general tool like Google or the Internet with so many different aspects and tools.

Let's use a home exercise machine as an analogy. If you use it to hang clothes, it will not help you lose weight but will give you a messy looking room. If you use it daily to exercise, it may help you lose weight. Google and the Internet are much more complex tools than the exercise machine. If you use Google Scholar to read scientific and trade journals, that would definitely not make you stupid. However, if you are using Google videos to watch home videos of someone falling flat on their face doing a stupid stunt, then that may make you stupid (especially if you decide to try the stunt on your own.) Therefore. "Google makes you stupid" is an overly-general theory or hypothesis.

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