Books to Browsers

Is Google Making Us Stupid?- Guy Billout

I used to love to read as a child. I have vivid memories of myself running through library isles and picking out such an absurd amount books that I was unable to carry them all back to my seat. I used to burry myself in fiction, recreating characters in my mind and allowing my imagination to run wild. Now, at the age of 21 I can shamefully, yet honestly confess that reading has become more of a burden and ultimately too time consuming. I spend some of my free time blogging on the Internet, exploring links posted to facebook, hashtag searching on Instagram, and keeping up with the latest tweets. Every scroll of a page, every new link, and every new tag, opens up an even more exciting and enticing page- instantaneously. All sorts of different things jumbled about on the page quickly grab my attention such as bordering pictures, a background soundtrack, or even advertisements. I believe that this constant rapid changing of websites and page links has made it more difficult for me to focus on one topic while reading a lengthy piece of literature. Gathering of information seems so much more accessible and efficient when conducted through the Internet. With just one simple click of a button, I am able to find a myriad of answers for every question my mind could deliver, immediately. The ultimate question is, is the seemingly accommodating Internet inhibiting our minds in actuality? Is the Internet hindering our thoughts and memorycapability? When you search for an answer to a question using an engine such as Google and press “enter,” the answers are infinite. Once you find the desired response, the answer is retrieved, read, and regurgitated. This process is extremely swift and allows minimal time for comprehension. But, the benefits of literature and searching for answers without the Internet are far more valuable. Even though you might be unable to simply look something up, your search for that specific answer becomes much more meaningful through in-depth reading, therefore leading to knowledge expansion. Years ago, I read a story about two ungrateful men. Each of these men carried with them their sins and shameful wrongdoings throughout their lifetime, on their backs. Each man was faced with the same decision, to either walk to his final destination or take the train (new advancements in industrialization). One man chose to take the train, and the other decided to walk. The man who decided to take the train as his mode of transportation, boarded, took his bag full of sins, and tucked them away onto the luggage rack (where they stayed for the entire duration). The man who decided to walk to his destination thought about his sins the entire journey. He had the time and opportunity to genuinely think about what he was carrying on his back whether conscious or unconscious. He battled with his sins the entire way until he realized what he had done wrong and what he needed to do in order to be ultimately forgiven. I relate this story similarly to that of technology. At times, we use technology as an escape, just as this man decided to take the train instead of walk. Although it may have been more convenient, it might not have been the most beneficial for the mind. We sometimes get so caught up in the Internet and new advances that we forget to stop, think, and most importantly, read.

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Electracy- Gregory Ulmer

When I visit my grandfather in his nursing home, which has been his permanent residence for the last fifteen years, I always bring recent photographs. He enjoys being kept up to date on what is happening in my life, where my cousins are going to school, who is getting married, and what’s happening around our town. When I was a little girl, I had a disposable camera developed right before we would go for a family visit, so that I could have my own print-outs so show my grandfather. These were always the most exciting days. The photos I took surprised me every time, because I was never able to remember the ones I took in the beginning of the roll! One Christmas, I upgraded and was given my first non-disposable camera that still required film. Next, the “elf” camera became the absolute latest gadget, the slimmest camera on the market. Not long after, digital cameras were being sold in every radio shack in my town. I couldn’t believe it; you could actually take a photo and see it reappear on your screen for however long you desire without having to print it out to view the photo for the very first time. You were able to delete, make folders, and even edit all from your camera. It almost seemed like every few times I went to visit my grandfather that I had a new type of device to show my photos on. When I was in the 8th grade, I started to bring my laptop computer, which fascinated him. The bright colors on the screen, the tapping of a few keys, and there it was- an entire uploaded album of photos. Now, when I visit my grandfather I bring my iPad. The touch screen mesmerizes him. He can’t even believe that something like this exists in our world today, where the slight swipe of a finger across a thin piece of glass can begin a slideshow of photographs, for hours. In ten years from now, I wonder what type of device I will be bringing to the nursing home with me to display my photos on. When technology is advancing every minute of the day, it’s always a mystery.

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