In 2008 Nicholas Carr wrote an article in The Atlantic, titled Is Google Making Us Stupid. Very shortly, he argued that the way we engage with content online is ultimately having a detrimental effect on our ability to engage with longer, printed texts. Because we can open an article and search instantly for the exact piece of the text we need, we are slowly losing the ability to search for relevant information in textbooks and printed articles. (Hey! Perhaps that’s why my studies are such an uphill battle for me. It’s all Google’s fault.)
Carr’s article sparked numerous responses and studies into this topic, and we’ve yet to see whether he was right or not, but I believe that there’s another part of the internet that’s making us dumber. Or rather, lazier (though some might argue that’s the same thing).
I’m speaking of social media, and in particular, the sharing culture.
Two weeks ago I did this post where I told you six facts about myself, but one of them is a lie. It is time to reveal the truth, so if you haven’t read the first post yet, quickly go over there and make your choice, then return here and see if you guessed correctly.
The saying goes the truth is often stranger than fiction (have you seen the movie, by the way?) and that becomes immediately apparent when we start to think of the more unusual events that have transpired in our lives.
I don’t hate Dan Brown. I honestly don’t. I own four of his books, after all (okay, five, but I got the last one for free, so it doesn’t count). I have contributed, at least in part, to his current wealth. I didn’t like Inferno, I’ve said so, and I was happy to let the matter lie, even after I coincidentally discovered a factual error.
But yesterday I typed “Dan Brown Inferno” into Quora.com, to see if people were discussing the novel, just out of curiosity, you know? There I came across one question which exposed a plot hole…make that the plot hole, a plot hole so big that I didn’t even spot it because the entire novel was inside it.