In his article, “Is Stupid Making us Google,” James Bowman talks about how googling is transforming people’s thinking, the causes of the change, and the impact of these changes. Bowman addresses the issue in different ways, including discussing the article called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr (Hooper and Channa 51), personal experience, recent learning trends, as well as the works of Professor Bauerlein.
Bowman begins by describing how his ability to concentrate has changed and how he now struggles reading offline. He agrees with a citation that Nicholas Carr used in his article that claims that online reading is different from the traditional way of reading since people who read online only read through titles, abstracts, and content pages, unlike reading offline where students read the entire course materials (Hooper and Channa 55). According to Bowman, online reading is making books and history less important since the students are pushed to the internet by their educators. He believes that the trend is making the students dumb, and surprisingly there are literature professionals who do not care if people stop reading and entirely depend on Google. As a consequence, fears that Google does not make students slow down and reflect, find role models, discover moral convictions absence in their real-world, or observe their turbulent feelings as the reading of books did (Bowman 79).
Bowman confirms that he also avoids traditional reading by going to read online. But as Carr claims, he feels guilty as reading online deprives him of offline reading. Moreover, Bowman seems to validate Carr’s conclusion that the trend flattens human intelligence into artificial intelligence. However, that is only for the veterans who once used to read traditionally before the advancement of the internet; it will be worse for the current generation who have no “deep reading” background (Bowman 75). According to Bowman, Professor Bauerlein, and Nicholas Carr seems to agree that the trend is not only an educational breakdown but also a deformation of intelligence. Moreover, Professor Bauerlein supports Carr’s claims that instead of reading offline and doing analysis when doing a research project, students go online and search for relevant sites, copy and paste the information then add transitions before printing and submitting the projects as their work.
Bowman fears that online reading does not equip students with the skills of analysis and logic earned in the traditional way of reading. Online reading only equips them with pattern recognition and information gathering skills (Bowman 77); hence, students become dumb. The trend is bound to continue, and as a result, in the future, even Ph.D. would be earned majorly through Google. The goggling trend makes Bowman blame “mentors” for betraying their students and at the same time, denounced the aim of mentorship by allowing the use of deconstruction tools. As a consequence, this makes education loose meaning as it seems to equip students with information-retrieval skills.
In general, Bowman perceives Google as a vice when it comes to education. Students are now dependent on the internet because it has nearly everything they require for the projects and related things like assignments. The only thing they have to do is retrieve the relevant information and add transitions before submitting the information as to their work. Though Bowman is also a victim, he acknowledges that online reading is making people dumb, especially the current generation, which entirely depends on it.
Bowman, James. “Is Stupid Making Us Google?” The New Atlantis. (2008): 75-80. Print. https://www.thenewatlantis.com/docLib/20080812_TNA21Bowman.pdf
Hooper, Val, and Channa Herath. “Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Impact of the Internet on Reading Behaviour.” Bled eConference (2014): 51-62. Print. http://aisel.aisnet.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1044&context=bled2014