Google and Electracy

Reading response to Carr and Ulmer

The first article I read was Nicholas Carr’s Is Google Making Us Stupid and it outlines what he believes to be one of the biggest problems with the Internet.  Over recent years, as a whole, society has become more dependent on the Internet.  Carr explains how the Internet constantly surrounds us and how this constant contact with the Internet is slowly changing our brains.  I agree with Carr that the Internet is changing how we, as a society, behave.  Carr then references the work of Marshall McLuhan.  Having studied McLuhan for another class, Carr’s argument that the Internet is changing how we think was very clear.  Carr states that the media is not a passive channel and this statement is completely aligned with McLuhan’s statement “the medium is the massage.”  I completely agree with their arguments that the media and the Internet are intertwined within society and they are completely affecting the way in which we act as a society.

Carr also describes how Google’s goal of being the best search engine on the Internet has affected the people who search for information as well as the Internet itself.  With new technology such as Google Glass, Google has become extremely close to reaching their goal.  Carr argues that while Google is a great place to quickly search for information, this information is not always correct.  The problem with this is that society completely trusts the Internet. Google and the Internet have also shortened our attention spans.  Carr points out how he cannot spend long periods of time reading like he used to.  He blames Google and the Internet for this.

What do you think of his arguments? Has the Internet and Google changed society in a negative way?

google

The next article I read was Gregory Ulmer’s Introduction: Electracy and it is about how communications has become digitally based and why it is important to understand the different ways in which digital media have been used and how they can best be used.  What I found most interesting was how Ulmer differentiated between oratory, literary, and electracy.  Having studies the differences between oratory and literacy.  I found it very interesting to see how electracy is such an important part of mass communications in today’s digital age.  I never thought about electracy before but after reading this article it is amazing to see how much of a role is plays.  Also, as technology develops, I believe that electracy will become more and more important to digital communications and reaching a mass audience.

Discussion Questions:

1) What do you think of electracy and the differences between oratory, literacy, and electracy?

2) Is Google actually making us stupid?

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