Computers and the Internet


Computers and the internet were introduced to make life easy for mankind. However, this has resulted in a lot of controversy as some skeptics claim that the new technology has turned out to be a reason for man to become lazy. According to them, the computers simplify many things too much hence making man too dependent. For example, Nicolas Carr talks of how his reading habits have been crippled because of the internet. Other scholars have also supported this notion claiming that the internet has altered the way the brain functions. This is because the brain is malleable and it adapts to the new technology. Some scientists also argued that the brain functions like the technology in place at the time. For example, after the invention of the clock, the brain was assumed to operate like a clock. The same was perceived when computers were invented; it was believed that the human brain operated like a computer.


When a man becomes accustomed to reading online, they simply decode the information. This interferes with the brain's ability to interpret the text as well as to maintain a mental connection with the text. Computers not only alter the way the manner in which the brain decodes information, but it also changes the manner in which a writer does their writing. The writing equipment used determines the way thoughts are formed. Arguments are transformed into aphorisms while thoughts are transformed into puns and rhetoric statements are expressed in telegram style. The brain can reprogram in order to adapt. Therefore, once the internet was introduced, man's brain reprogrammed to adjust to the new technology. The process through which a human brain adapts to any new intellectual technology is usually reflected in the way man changes the metaphors in his language to express himself. For example, when the mechanical clock was invented, people began thinking that their brains operated like clockwork. However, in this age of software and new technology, man has started believing that the human brain operates like a computers operating system (Wiens 102).

The human brain adapts to new forms of stimuli in the environment at a biological level. This is because; the brain is plastic in nature. The internet has successfully managed to subsume all other forms of intellectual technologies. The internet has successfully taken over every aspect of mans life. For example, it has become a map, a clock, a typewriter, a calculator, a telephone, a radio and even a TV among other aspects of the everyday society. The internet absorbs a medium and reconstitutes it into an image the net understands. The net in turn installs hyperlinks, blinking advertisements and digital gewgaws that in turn diffuse and scatter mans attention and focus in performing other tasks (Schlesniger 78).

Just like any other new thing in society, the internet has both a good side and a bad side. Therefore, in the same light, there is a tendency to glorify the progress that technology has sparked and at the same time criticize its shortcomings. Since time in memorial, scientists have always had something to say about a new technology. For example, in the case of Plato's Phaedrus where he feared that the introduction of written information would be used by man as a substitute for the internal knowledge man already possessed. He further argued that the written word would influence man to cease exercising their memory hence man would become forgetful. This would be enhanced by the fact that man would receive information that is already written without gaining proper instructions. This would create an illusion of being knowledgeable, while, in the real sense they are ignorant. However, these scientists were shortsighted and missed foreseeing the great way in which writing would change the world hence expanding wisdom. This misconception is also practiced in the use of the internet.

Many people tend to focus on the immediate impact while the big picture is ignored.  The scientists have a good reason to be skeptic about the internet because; it is a fact that it is part of everyday life that cannot be ignored. However, the internet has many advantages. Although it may replace some aspects of life, it creates a whole new perspective of doing things. Doing things manually has always been mankind's culture; however, the introduction of the new technology has resulted in man abandoning this culture. This is in favor of a more tolerable mode of doing things than were previously practiced. Computers have transformed man making them machinelike. Man has begun become too dependent on computers trusting them to meditate for man the understanding of the world. It is, therefore, mans own intelligence that results to artificial intelligence (Carr 76).


In conclusion, claiming that Google makes a man stupid can be compared to saying that information makes us unintelligent. This is because; two decades ago, if one wanted to know the meaning of a word, one had to lug out the big old dictionary. Another example is if one wanted to find out what a Lemur was; he/she had to refer to the encyclopedia. These were very inconvenient and cumbersome methods of acquiring information. Google has merely reflected what man already used to do, but just in a manner that is physically convenient. Nowadays, rather than lugging out a big book to look up the pages relevant to your inquiry, we just have to type in the keyword in the research to get answers, therefore, Instead of only finding limited answers from the few books one might posses, goggle enables people to access data from millions of sources from the world. Google, therefore, has not made people stupid. This is because, just like in the past, people still have to be acquainted with how to find the source of information, in addition to this, they still need to know how to read, analyze and comprehend the results they find. Thus, the worst goggle has done is to make people forget using the index in reference books. However, goggle has given man an opportunity to access more information.