The essay discusses about The Internet Affecting Our Lifestyle have affected our way of thinking and doing things

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The Internet Affecting Our Lifestyle

In his book The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains, Nicholas Carr points out how the internet and information technology, in general, have affected our way of thinking and doing things. In the book, Carr notes how the invention and development of digital media, the internet and other advancements in information technology seem to have led to us changing various aspects of life. Although in most parts of the book Carr emphasizes the negative effects the internet has on human cognition, he also acknowledges the different advantages of the internet (Carr, 2011). The internet has positively impacted our lives owing to the easy access to a large pool of information at the click of a button and the enhanced connectivity between people, easing communication. Therefore, the internet and other developments in information technology have altered the way we do things and our lifestyle, both positively and negatively.

Carr is popularly known for his writing on a range of science topics; mainly focusing on how information technology and other digital media affect the different aspects of the society today. In this book, he focuses on the internet as a large collection of information and how the availability of such information affects human thinking. Although the book is intended for the general audience, it provides critical insight on how education is bound to change owing to the presence and easy access to information online. In his argument, Carr utilizes various examples to illustrate how new developments replace the old practices and basic lifestyle. The emergence and popularization of the internet and digital media has led to overdependence and addiction, as well as other negative influences. He believes that the internet and other digital media are replacing conventional information mediums and our way of thinking (Carr, 2011). Therefore, according to Carr’s view, the internet and other information technology advancements I most instances adversely affects our lifestyle.

As Carr points out in his book, the internet has negative effects on human cognition, how people conduct various activities, and morals in society. For instance, he narrates how in most instances while he is using a computer to do some serious writing he finds himself having wandered from the core activity (Carr, 2011). The same also happens to me while researching materials for an assignment; I always find my focus shifting to irrelevant websites like social media. The existence and continued use of the internet has not only changed the way people think but also the ability of people to focus on a particular activity. The continuous use of the internet negatively affects the functioning of the human brain as seen in the reduction of an individual’s ability to focus on one activity (Maurer, 2015). Today, a computer enables multitasking as one can conduct more than one task at a time. This is unlike prior to the discovery of the Windows operating system where one could only do one thing at a time. Since a person can have more than one application run simultaneously, there are always distractions and hence reduced attention.

The internet as a source of information has replaced print media which was previously the main source of intelligence. Formerly, books were the only source of information and one had to spend a lot of time and focus on the literature to grasp the content of the book. Therefore, the internet has rendered obsolete various learning practices such as reading and writing. The practice of writing books is affected by the internet since it is easy to express ideas online in blogs, social media platforms, and other online content sites (Carr, 2011). By abandoning books and adopting the internet as our only source of information, our brains are programmed to only take in information in small bits; making it difficult for us to digest huge amounts of information. Searching for information on the internet involves scanning through pages for relevant information. People are now applying the same reading method in books rather than reading the text thoroughly. Therefore, the internet has rendered books obsolete as a source of information thereby changing our intellectual abilities.

The internet makes it easy for people to access information. People now have access to immoral content, which in turn affects social values in society. By the click of a button, a person can access volumes of information; some of which are inappropriate. For example, people can access illegal and misleading materials on the internet, which is the main reason behind the moral decadence in the society today (Umeogu & Ojiakor, 2014). People also conduct criminal activities on the internet, and hence the increased level of insecurity. People who spend most of their time on the internet are seen to have a poor social life due to the lack of social interaction. The internet as a source of information gives users access to inappropriate materials which leads to moral degradation in society.

Contrary to Carr’s standpoint, the internet has numerous benefits in the world today. The internet has made things easy in various aspects. The convenience that comes with the internet is compounded by the availability of the internet-enabled mobile phones, ensuring that one can access the web from anywhere. The internet acts as a means of communication, a source of information, a platform for social networking and others. By the click of a button, a person can access a wide range of information, communicate with people, trade, and even buy products online (Taylor, n.d).  One can even study online through online classes or by reading the information available on the internet in different subjects. Therefore, contrary to Carr’s position on the effects of the internet, the internet is beneficial and critical to daily activities.

The internet enables cheap, easy, efficient, and convenient communication by a click of a button, which is unlike the traditional communication methods, which are slow, unreliable, and sometimes expensive. The internet enables both formal and informal communication methods and platforms. For instance, the World Wide Web has enabled formal communication through emails, fax, online calls, and video conferencing. People utilize these methods to communicate official matters.

However, the internet is popular for the social sites available for communication and entertainment. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube among others are the most utilized social media platforms. On these sites, people stay connected through continuous and timely communication. The internet enables the day to day communication between individuals and institutions by the click of the send button, and hence simplifies communication.

Through the internet, people can study by conducting online research. The internet is an information hub with information on different disciplines available as books, articles, and blogs. People also learn on the internet as is the case in e-learning. Rather than attending physical classes, a person can attend a class from the comfort of his or her home on the internet. The internet also provides trading and shopping platforms. Hence, the internet is critical to most human activities due to the convenience it offers.

Use of the internet positively affects human cognitive ability. This effect is due to the Google effect, which states that “When we know the information is available online, we put less effort into storing that information in the brain. Some argue that this strategy is adaptive because it frees up internal resources which can then be used for other cognitive tasks” (Heersmink, 2016). Therefore, the use of the internet helps in the improvement of human cognitive ability and ability to think.


Contrary to the assertions by Nicolas Carr in his book The Shallow: What the internet is doing to our brains, I believe that the internet plays a critical role in the success of the different aspects of human life. The use of the internet enhances our cognitive ability by offloading information from the brain; redirecting the free resources to other uses. The internet provides different platforms which are used in learning, communication, socialization, trading, and shopping. The internet provides an avenue for the storage of information, which can be retrieved later for intellectual purposes. Unlike in Carr’s standpoint that the internet has made books obsolete, most of the books are available online and cheaply. There is no substantive theory and evidence to support the claim that internet use reduces the memory and the level of focus. Since internet use helps to enhance cognitive ability and the level of concentration in an individual, I am of the view that the internet improves various aspects of human life. Therefore, I oppose the arguments fronted by Carr in his book on the effects of the internet on brain function and believe that the internet is critical to various aspects of human life.



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