Posted by: lindsaym88 | December 4, 2014

The Shallows of Nicholas Carr

“The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr’s call to conjure up “a big anti-Net backlash”, falls flat on its face. The internet has reduced our depth of thought to puddles of celebrity Tweets, a swirling eddy of simplicity and hyperactivity. He seems to miss the fact that the internet has given rise to more access to education and knowledge than has ever before been available. He seems to forget a similar “backlash” occurred back when bibles were taken home by en mass and interpreted privately, instead of dictated by ordained priests. He also seems to think that people were incapable of finding distraction while reading way back when…

A little guy holding a flower.

Proof that people got distracted reading even in the olden days.

The internet is not turning us into mindless drones, but is, I argue, encouraging a new way of thinking and communication. “Fandoms”, for example, are entire groups of people dedicated to the dissection and discussion of a single subject; while not the stuff of James Joyce exactly, you can’t deny it requires the element of mental concentration and engagement.

250 words will not be enough to encompass the depth of my disagreement with Carr’s assertions. Perhaps because I grew and developed in tandem with the internet boom, I have a different relationship and perspective than does Carr. He certainly made no effort to entertain many counter arguments. My final argument can be summed up in the boom of concentration and literary interest that took over the English speaking world and beyond: Harry Potter.

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