A couple of weeks ago, I ran into an article with a very provocative title: Is Google Making us Stupid? Ordinarily, these types of articles strike me as the older generation failing to cope with technological changes, and decrying the younger crowd for embracing them. I generally find reading such articles to be unrewarding, but this one was different, because lately I had been asking myself a similar question. Not so much whether Google makes us stupid, but if getting much of my information from reading blogs, Wikipedia, and other web pages was changing the way that I read and the way that I think.
In contrast to the title of the article, I don’t think this is all bad. For instance, the instant access to supporting or contradicting information in the form of hyperlinks or the ability to do a quick Google search is certainly a good thing. Now, we no longer have to confine ourselves to the limited and perhaps biased view of just one author, which certainly has the possibility of increasing the amount of critical thinking done while reading.