Internet and Thought

12 10 2007

I agree that the internet has changed the way people think. I think any advance in technology changes the way the people using it view and think about life. The internet has made information much more accessible, but also much more unreliable. In the past century, when interested in a subject, a person would have to ask someone more knowledgeable or go to a library. While neither of these are fool-proof methods of finding reliable information, they are generally more trustworthy than some random person’s blog on the subject.
The desire for instant gratification and instant information has also been affected by the internet. These days, if someone doesn’t know a word, they find the closest computer, bring up and have at it. A large, bound dictionary is a relic from a bygone era, something generally more useful for pressing flowers than for gleaning information. Similar is the way people do research. If something is not readily available online, it is usually a great inconvenience to actually go to a library to find the material. I’m not saying this is bad, but it does feed the need for instant gratification. I wonder how often this hinders people (I know plenty of people extremely averse to the idea of attending a library), leaving them restricted to the information available on the internet, and how often it gives them more freedom (less time spent searching for dusty volumes with, on occasion, pages missing). Of course this mostly depends on the person, but it still shows how the internet has encouraged naturally lazy people to remain that way.






2 responses

16 10 2007

Good post. Now that basic research is simpler, we should be doing much better research (using the time we saved). But time saved on one project often goes into other projects. . .

–dr t

17 10 2007

like Facebook?

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