Heather Meek Dineen Picerno



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Heather Meek
Dineen Picerno
English 105 first year riding seminar critical Writing, Reading, and Thinking
19 September 2021
Becoming Smarter in a Different Way with the Internet
When it comes to the topic of the internet's affect on human intelligence, most of us would readily agree that the use of the internet enhances and augments human intelligence. Whereas some are convinced that the internet is making us less intelligent, or stupid, others maintain that the Internet is important to human intelligence and learning. With strong arguments and evidence to support both sides of this argument, I believe the internet is making us more intelligent. Using my personal experience and research to support my stance, I want to also provide you, the reader,
with adequate information to make your own judgment. From my standpoint the use of the internet helps improve reading and writing skills, as well as rendering, or expanding once knowledge.
Much like the invention of the car or the invention of the first computer, the internet is one of humanity's great inventions. Bringing a wealth of information, business / commerce, and multiple social platforms to the fingertips of millions of people around the world. For a majority of the population the internet has become part of one's extended mind. Attention was raised first in 1998 by two philosophers Andy Clark [University of Edinburgh] and David Chalmers
[Australian national University], who introduced the concept of the extended mind, that


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'cognition' does not just happen in our heads. "The mind appears to be adapting for reaching out from our heads and making the world, including machines, and extension of itself." (Paragraph 4
discovermagazine) In the essay, the extended mind, they argued that the mind is more than the product of neurons in the brain, but a system made up of the brain along with its environment.
Also known as Active Externalism, the human organism is linked with an external entity in a two-way interaction, creating a coupled system that can be seen as a cognitive system in its own right. All the components in the system play an active role, and jointly govern behavior in the same sort of way that cognition would. If we remove the external component the system's behavioral competence will drop, just as it would if we removed part of its brain. This is a great example of this extended mind. Have you wanted to know a quick answer, or a reference you know you heard before, instead of searching one's brain for the answer, we immediately turn to technology for answers.
The average Google search volume has increased by 10%- 15% per year and according to Internet Live Stats, Google handles 80731 queries per second which is about 2.5 trillion per year. Google had shown its US market share in 2019 is 62.87% which own 93% of the search engine market, making Google one of the most used search engines with the highest number of active users. (Internet Live Stats, 2020) But how can this affect us? Following 2001 to 2019 the
Google searches increased by 1.5 million to 5.5 million. (Paragraph 1/2 sourceessay.com) All of this research trend is evidence of cognitive offloading or The Google Effect.
What is The Google Effect
A fairly recent development in cognitive biases is the Google effect. This is the tendency for people who are accustomed to accessing information online and in other memory storage


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devices to not bother memorizing, or rapidly forgetting, information that can be easily retrieved elsewhere. This is also known as "digital amnesia." Under this effect people are less likely to remember certain details they believe will be accessible online. However, the study also claims that people's ability to learn information offline remains the same. This effect makes one reconsider what level of detail is considered to be important to remember and what can be accessed quickly though and outside source. "Google will make us stupid and intelligent at the same time." Marcel Bullinga Dutch Futurist (Paragraph 6 CNET.com)
Internet Effect on the Under 35 Crowd
According to a survey of 1,021 technology experts and critics, the effect of hyperconnectivity
(the connectivity and digital environments and the interactions between information systems,
data, and devices via the internet) on this younger generation is a mix of good, bad, and both.
That hyperconnectivity stimulates one's multitasking trait, and an ability to find, source, and compose relevant information quickly it's believed by 55% of those surveyed. Whereas 42% of experts and critics believe the hyperconnectivity causes an unhealthy dependence on the internet,
some experts agree that the use of the internet as an external brain, or the facts are stored, freeze up space for other mental processes." (Paragraph 10 livescience.com) While there is still disagreement on the pros and cons on the Internet, experts agreed that certain skills will be important for future generations online.
● And ability to cooperate to solve problems ( crowdsourcing)
● And ability to effectively search for information
● And ability to synthesize information for many sources
And ability to concentrate


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● And ability to filter useful information from the "digital noise" of the internet. (Pop-up or
Ads)
Before the development of the internet, searching for relevant information to lessons and research became taxing for both teachers and students. The internet can bring a variety of information to everyone to study relevant materials, assignments, presentations, research papers,
and books to expand once knowledge on any given topic. This use of the internet also gave way to online education. Thanks to colleges making online courses more available, and some solely online schools, getting an education has become easier for everyone. "There is a palpable concern among these experts that new social and economic diversions will emerge as those who are motivated and well-schooled reap rewards that are not matched by those who fail to master new media and tech literacies… [T]hey called for reinvention of public education to teach these skills and help learners avoid some of the obvious pitfalls of a hyper connected lifestyle" Lee
Rainier, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life project. (Paragraph 13
livescience.com)
In response to Carr's cover story is Google making us stupid? Pew Research Center's Internet and
American Life Project and The Imaging the Internet Center at Elon University, surveyed 895
experts in The Future of the Internet IV, asking their views on how the internet is affecting us now and in 10 years.
"Three out of four experts said the use of the internet enhances human intelligence, and two thirds said the use of the internet has improved reading, writing, and rendering of knowledge…
[T]here are still many people however who are critics of the impact of Google, Wikipedia, and other online tools." Jana Anderson, co-author and director of the imaging of the Internet Center


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(paragraph ⅔ Phys.org) The survey was "opt-in," so it wasn't a representative sample, but
Anderson and Rainie invited business executives, scientists, consultants, writers and tech developers "to share their views on the Internet's influence on the future of human intelligence."
This prompted responses like this one from Google chief economist, Hal Variant. " Google will make us more informed... Providing universal access to information will allow such people to realize their full potential, providing benefits to the entire world." This is how I feel, the internet has giving me access to a wealth of information, but it's also how I use it. I still practice paper reading as well as a big fan of pencil and paper, but having this external brain with endless information makes me feel more intelligent. If not in the same way we've known for past generations, but learning the workings of the new technological age.
Works Cited https://phys.org/news/2010-02-internet-sites-google-people-smarter.html https://www.livescience.com/amp/18722-internet-smarter-stupider.html https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/how-google-is-making-us-smarter https://sourceessay.com/how-is-google-search-affecting-our-intelligence/


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