entitled “Bombarded with impulses, we’re turning scatter-brained- Some of us may be conditioned for shallow thinking” (based on his book - check out at http://www.theshallowsbook.com/nicholascarr/The_Shallows.html)
In this article he argued that:
“What we seem to be sacrificing in all our surfing and searching is our capacity to
engage in the quieter, attentive modes of thought that underpin contemplation,
reflection and introspection. The web never encourages us to slow down. It keeps us in a state of perpetual mental locomotion. It is revealing, and distressing, to compare the cognitive effects of the internet with those of an earlier information technology, the printed book.
Whereas the internet scatters our attention, the book focuses it. Unlike the screen,
the page promotes contemplativeness. Reading a long sequence of pages helps us
develop a rare kind of mental discipline. The innate bias of the human brain, after all, is to be distracted.”
His argument is that being constantly online means being constantly distracted and that trying to read a book on-line invites a lack of focus and depth of thought.
As someone who has a great many digital books and has learned to read online especially
for research and writing purposes (it is much easy to quote and reference others when their work is digital), I found this article and argument confronting.
I think he is correct, at least for me. I live online both in my occupation as an IT teacher and in my hobby and passion of writing on biblical theology. I must admit to being easily distracted. It is too easy when reading online to take a break and check the latest news; favourite blogs; Facebook comments, Youtube videos, etc. Even just to surf without focus.
So perhaps the net is producing a new generation of distracted, less productive and
Perhaps we, at least, need to read our books off-line??
What do you think?