Does Google make us dummer?

Phooto by Austin Battin
Photo by Austin Battin

By Prisca To

It’s Sunday night, and you haven’t done your history homework all weekend and now it’s crunch time. You don’t know who won the 1912 election, so you go to your trusty friend, Google. You type it in the search bar and you get an answer in about two seconds.

We can all relate to this situation, and we can all admit that we depend on Google for a fast answer. However, the use of Google might be giving us some negative long-term side effects.

According to research conducted by The Associated Press in April 2013, the average human attention span is eight seconds. Goldfish,which have an attention span of nine seconds, have a longer attention span than us, as found on The average human attention span was 12 seconds in 2000. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, our attention span has gone down.

When we go on Moodle, and the website is down, we automatically give up, expecting Moodle to fix itself and we put off the work, saying we’ll do it later.

Google is the largest and most popular search engine in the world. On average, it takes less than a second to find several web pages regarding the topic you’re looking for.

Google plays a big part in why our attention span has gone down drastically. The fact that we have information given to us so fast and so easily, changes the amount of effort we put into the things we want. It seems that we have this perception that if we don’t receive results with minimal effort and quick response, then it’s not worth it.

“I don’t think Google makes us dumber,” Jordan Ivey, AP Psychology teacher, said. “But I do think the way we use it has changed our expectations of the world around us.”

It’s getting harder and harder to find people who are willing to put in the time and energy to get something when technology gives us the perception that everything can come quickly and easily.

I do the same thing myself. When I’m supposed to be doing homework, I work for two minutes and then I’m on my phone. I spend most of my time at school using my phone. I definitely use technology as a way to occupy myself. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and so many other social media outlets. No wonder we’re technology obsessed!

I see it at school everyday. When a class is difficult, we drop the class before we have the time to adjust or receive help. When we’re reading a book, we can only look at it for so long until we get distracted by something else.“My students can find information on Google faster than I can distill that information for them. That presents a problem for education because the information students are finding is not properly vetted, is not necessarily reliable, and, in some cases, is dead wrong,” English teacher Robert Przekwas said. Google and technology are omnipresent in all parts of our lives. It’s our responsibility to be cognizant of the invasion of technology and remind ourselves that there’s more to the world than the our iPhone screen.

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