“Just Google it”
How many times can this phrase be heard in a day? With seemingly all the answers right at your fingertips, Google has created a platform where information is easily accessible. Looking up facts in a book is no longer the most efficient way to do research. At first glance, this seems great to me, with a busy work and school schedule being able to save time is always something I look to do throughout the day. This being said, Nicholas Cage in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid” presents the one question that Google just might not have the answer to.
Cage explains that as we are no longer taking the time to read long novels our brains and our way of thinking is also changing. The quick information blurbs and the one to two page articles have now trained our brains to quickly jump from one thing to the next. Our brains have perfected the art of ‘skimming.’ Cage dates this progression all the way back to the 15th century when the printing press was thought to create “intellectual laziness.” Following this, during the Industrial Revolution, as the main goal became maximum efficiency in the workplace from workers and machines. Workers had to shift their way of thinking to one repetitive action. My question is could the new way of thinking that the Internet has created today be completely a bad thing? Like the changes to thinking made during the Industrial Revolution, could this change in thinking actually be beneficial to society? A negative aspect that I can see from this new way of thinking is the loss of critical thinking abilities that come with reading and interpreting a long piece of work.
In connection to this, is Ulmer’s article “Electracy.” From my understanding of Ulmer’s discussion, electracy is being able to understand digital media or digital literacy. He makes this comparison with literacy and alphabetic writing. Ulmer goes on to say that our society is moving towards electracy and soon it will be a skill that everyone must have. Ulmer makes connections between Orality, Literacy and Electracy.
Electracy becomes the third dimension of thought and practice that gives meaning to our lives. Do you all think that Ulmer’s idea of electracy is important in today’s world, is ‘digital media literacy’ something that soon everyone will need to have?