Is Google making us stupid? Maybe, it’s definitely making us unfocused. I don’t agree that it diminishes book reading skills. I’m still pretty able to knock out a book in a weekend if the mood strikes me. But I know for damn sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish that book if I was sitting in front of my computer.
I probably checked five other websites and sent three pieces of e-mail while I was reading these articles. I can quickly research any thought that pops into my head on the same device that I do my homework. This doesn’t make for a focused reading experience. I can’t even count the times that I’ve gone to Wikipedia for something school related, and an hour later I realize I’m knee deep in the epsiode breakdown “Salute Your Shorts.” I never had that problem with Encyclopedia Brittanica.
I think the internet is creating a society of temporary experts on everything. Who needs to retain knowledge when you can always access it with Wi-Fi. This can lead to a variety of problems, of course. It makes it very easy to spout out information on any subject, but without the understanding that years of study and experience get you. It can also make one look very stupid when confronted with a real expert.