Is Google Making us E-tards? [infographic]

November 27, 2011 |  by  |  eCommerce, Education, Internet, Tech
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While recently at a friendly gathering of young hooligans, I found myself engaged in a lighthearted debate on how the advent of the internet is affecting the brains of the youth.

I must confess, despite having done little research on the subject, I had already made conclusions of my own based on personal experience.

My opinion was (and still is) that the internet is ultimately expanding the possibilities of innovation for the coming generations. It is a catalyst for open communication and will provide us with mental framework that will propel the geniuses of our time forward with more vigor than ever before.

The person I was talking to did not agree with my somewhat sunny view of the internet. She said that the invention was making people dependent on it as an extension of their brains, and leaving little room for new ideas or improvisation.

In fairness, there is ample evidence for both conclusions in current events and our daily lives. So here’s the dish on the estimated effects of Google, a favorite gateway for internet users worldwide. [Via]

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  • Beccabob

    I wish you would change the title of your article. No matter how clever the pun, the phrase “tard” or even “E-tard” is just as offensive as the “R” word.  It’s not PC and it’s not acceptable.

  • Jeremy Mash

    I agree with Beccabob.

    The article title should have been thought through more carefully.  Pretty disappointing

  • http://twitter.com/rdfrench Robert French

    Your choice of a title for this story is simply rude … crass … juvenile.  Very disappointing.  

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  • Patrick

    Completely agree, this kind of material shouldn’t be taking up my time

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  • http://jershaanddup.com Jessica

    I tend to disagree with this infographic. I have learned so much more from the internet than I could reading books. Why? Because I can search for targeted information much more quickly. Even the most efficient reader/researcher won’t be able to find the information as quickly in a book. Besides, there are plenty of topics that aren’t even covered in books or if they are, the books are poorly written. I may be in the minority but I try to commit everything I learn to memory so I don’t need to research it gain.

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  • brenda denton

    I am disheartened by the title of this article.  The vocabulary choice is offensive and not acceptable.

  • Sidney Lanier

    Think of the content and not the title. 
    I agree with the article. The internet is undeniably beneficial, but it is a double-edged sword. I know college students (not just a few) that don’t even know how to use a library and have witnessed a plethora of misinformed kids try to site unreliable websites as credible sources in research papers. Computers are wonderful instruments that have revolutionized numerous daily tasks and I don’t intend to start avoiding mine, but I think the growing level of dependency is a relevant fear. 

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  • http://www.mediaanatomy.com Chris Blachewicz

    Internet is giving us incredible possibilities. The question is: if our brains don’t have to compute so much stuff now, will it get lazy? I believe it may occasionaly do that, but the thirst for knowledge and progress were always deep rooted in human nature and will continue to express themselves, using the internet just like any other tool.

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  • iamastonished

    The whiners here are pathetic. When I was a kid I came home complaining the a another kid had called me cross-eyes (which would have been true). My mother told me  that “sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me.” Cross-eyes never bothered me again.

    If you are one of these sensitivity police, please stop. It is ridiculous.

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  • Jhelms2196

    I think what Google is really doing is making many people think they are “wiser” than they actually are.  In fact, with so much information and data at hand many web surfers can easily believ he is  much more empowererd than he really is.  First, data is just that data.  Information is just information.  Without proper analysis it is no more useful that a car with no fuel.  Proper analysis is the real key to empowerment.  Imagine yourself in the Library of congress asking a librarian a very simple question about which you know nothing.  The librarian hands you a thick volume and says the answer is on page 764.  You look at the page and low and behold, the answer is there.  Are you wiser?  No you may or may not understand the question much less the answer now, but even if you do have a level of understanding, you probably don’t understand the process of learning, researching and analysis of complex subjects. Now, with all of this sai, Google is a good and powerful tool that if used properly can expand the horizons of those using it.  The level of human interaction and understanding of that which is being researched is the key to the benefit a user ultimately will recieve from Google, Bing and all of the other search engines on the web.

  • Gail Hussey

    Want to be taken seriously – use professional language. E-Tard?
    Seriously? I couldn’t get past the title to actually read your content.

  • APai

    journalism today:
    - write an article
    - garnish it with words “google/ facebook/ apple”
    - voila! linkbait!

    google happens to power most of these popular services but it could easily be others too like quora/ dictionary.com/ wiki…

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