When famous philosopher Socrates famously warned about the effect that books would have on learning, he worried the written word would make people forgetful and too reliant on external characters – he certainly wasn’t the first man to question whether new was inherently better than old. He certainly wasn’t the last, either.
Sadly, there’s not one person alive today who can tell us about the day the door was invented, but if that early discovery was anything like subsequent human inventions, you can be sure there was at least one person warning about the negative impact such a contraption would have on our early ancestors.
Speaking out against technology may be for weirdos, but it is important to remember that moving forward isn’t always the same as progressing.
The internet has definitely changed how we consume information though.
If you like photos of cats pulling stupid faces, dogs farting or a Star Wars mash-up compiled by teenagers, then it’s not likely clicking on that content is eating into your busy time schedule.
The internet itself is nothing but a post-modern parody of the21st century life, where the best and worst of human culture is available. If you spend your time surfing the web for LOLcats then the internet is no more to blame for your stupidity than a library is if you sit inside one while reading Stupid comics.
As a regular ,almost constant Twitter user, I certainly know less and less about more and more. I’ve skimmed countless essays, blogposts and articles from tweeted links. I’ve also read more books this past year – all discovered via Twitter or Facebook or Instagram than in the previous five years combined. I’d certainly be more of use in a pub quiz than two years ago, but still pretty useless in an in-depth debate about one issue.
As we’re only a couple of generations into using the internet, it’s way too early to declare it as fundamentally good or bad, despite the numerous articles cropping up for or against Carr’s hypothesis.
And as with any important issues, the effect anything has is far more complicated than a simple binary declaration can make it appear. But then we’d all remember that if we weren’t so easily distracted by videos of cats being si……