The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

4.0 99
by Nicholas Carr

ISBN-10: 0393072223

ISBN-13: 9780393072228

Pub. Date: 06/07/2010

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate

Finalist for the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award


Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate

Finalist for the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Shallows 4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 100 reviews.
Ken_O More than 1 year ago
I picked this up after reading a review in a local paper - which thought it was too "shallow" for business readers. WRONG! Carr pulls together several strands of research and findings, and brings in the findings from scholarly journals to present several important consequences of the widespread use of the internet. The ideas are not all his, but he puts them together in a very well-written and readily digestible short read. We should all take note of his conclusions. The internet is changing the way we think - and we need to comprehend exactly how.
Booknut62 More than 1 year ago
Before this book was published, I looked forward to getting a copy with anticipation. I have been fascinated with what researchers are saying about the effects of the Web on our brains and and thought processes. Disappointingly, this book offers no groundbreaking insights in this topic, and for that matter any other. Carr opens the first chapters of this book with a long tedious history of the printed word and how that has affected thought and information processing. While this might be vital to his argument about how the Internet is changing the brain, it seems to go on forever. Could this information not been condensed into a chapter or so? Once Carr gets to the research on how the Web is changing our brains, he seems to go into long-drawn out descriptions of chemical processes and descriptions of physiological descriptions of how the Web is basically making us shallow thinkers, unable to think deeply about what we read and see on the Net. I was just a bit disappointed by Carr's treatment of a subject that has a great deal of merit, and a subject that needs to be discussed. In the end, this was one of those books that was difficult to finish. Plowing is the accurate term to describe how I moved through this book. While Carr does an adequate job of describing what the research says about how the Web is changing us, he does so in an uninspiring and didactic manner. This could have been an interesting book, but it reads too much like a diatribe against technology in general.
feelzoo More than 1 year ago
A must-read book that uncovers what we are loosing unconsciously, and the loss is what we must protect. You are becoming one of the shallows little by little with a cascade of benefits from the Net. How come we are becoming less knowledgeable with those benefits? Hyperlinks and multimedia on a Net page contain more information than we need, which makes you think the technology is a blessing. However, this book debunks it by laying out the results of prominent researches and findings. If you are interested in how your brain affected by what you are doing every 3mins with your gadgets, read this book!
VeloChef More than 1 year ago
What initially hooked me was a review about "The Shallows" in Wired Magazine (June 2010). It took awhile to get to the real meat of the subject, but when it did, I couldn't stop underlining, highlighting, note taking, and star making - several chapters are now a complete mess, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I know this book is not for everyone, because some of us are more distractable than others. Unfortunately, I'm ADHD, and quite easily distracted. However, on the positive side, once I'm enthralled there's no end to my energy and ability to research a topic thoroughly. Oh well. I highly recommend this for anyone who spends time on the internet, or knows people who do, because it's an important read. If you don't recognize the characteristics today, chances are you will in the near future, because I believe it resembles behavior that could be referred to as techchnology induced ADHD (or close to it). Finally, here is a blog I've started (early June 2010) that is initially (parts 1 - 4 & notes) based on the Wire Mag review. Beyond that I'm developing more content based on my own revelations, observations, research and especially how I'm fighting the daily battle of distractedness on & off the Net. please visit
khy50 More than 1 year ago
This book is being read by many college freshmen. My book club selected it to read because of that fact. Amazing information inside. Many insights. Our book club had one of the best discussions ever! This is a must read for anyone who still likes to pick up a book as well as an e reader or who still writes personal notes on paper but also sends text messages. It will change you!
AvidReaderSD More than 1 year ago
I found this book absolutely an intriguing and thoughtful read!! While i enjoy some technology, I have huge concerns as to how we are using/over using it. This book put a lot into perspective. We have become a nation of voyeurs, reacting to stimuli rather than thinking about stimuli and how we respond. I have recommended this book to many people and/or given it as a gift on a must read. I teach and am using a chapter with my students. They need to reflect on what they are doing. As a society we need to consider what we are about before we get any further carried away by our facination with technology. This book helps the process.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Business author Nicholas Carr enters Malcolm Gladwell territory with an insightful, far-reaching book of essays on how your brain works, how the Internet alters your perceptions and habits, and what the consequences of those alterations might be. Stretching from Aristotle to Google, Carr seeks to understand the magnitude of the change the Internet presents, and to gauge whether that change is for good or ill. He does not offer answers to his more provocative philosophical questions, preferring that the reader sort those out. But he frames these fascinating queries in detailed disquisitions on futurism, the creation of computing, the history of the written word and the evolution of science's notions of the brain and how it functions. His relaxed writing style provides a companionable read, as if you were having a great conversation with a brilliant stranger. getAbstract recommends this enjoyable, nourishing book to everyone who's ever wondered how working on a computer might be affecting their lives and their brains.
Andrew Holm More than 1 year ago
The strength of this book is the historical context that the Age of Information is understood compared to similar pivitol developments such as the printing press. How our brains changed in relation to these sweeping changes is described. Not surprisingly, we both gained and lost aptitudes. What would have made this book even better would been practical suggestions to navigate this new territory to optimize our gains and minimize our losses.
WeymanQuenton 6 months ago
I don't agree that brains are changing due to Intrnet. While Mr. Carr tries to ground his argument in the details of modern neuroscience, his most powerful points have nothing do with our plastic cortex. Instead, “The Shallows” is most successful when Carr sticks to cultural criticism, as he documents the losses that accompany the arrival of new technologies. The rise of the written text led to the decline of oral poetry; the invention of movable type wiped out the market for illuminated manuscripts; the television show obliterated the radio play (if hardly radio itself). Similarly, numerous surveys suggest that the Internet has diminished our interest in reading books. But, the ebooks sales have down 15% since last year (2015) and print version is up 2%. Or maybe even these worries are mistaken; it can be hard to predict the future of systems and Internet. Infact, the systems taking people's job is most imminent threa.
Maria_Kallas More than 1 year ago
This just in: Carr proves zombies really do exist!  You probably already are aware that zombies are taking over pop culture; however, you may not be aware that zombies are slowly taking over our world.  Slowly but surely, bright intellectuals are transforming into zombies.  Think I’m kidding?  Read Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains or better yet, just go ahead and Google it. For those who may not be up to date with pop culture, zombies are non-communicative, mobile, lifeless humans that are vulnerable to brain destruction, which eventually kills them.  Throughout The Shallows, Carr argues that the Internet is not only changing how we think, but it is slowly destructing the brain.  For example, Carr cites Gary Small’s study of digital media’s effect on the human brain.  According to Small, a professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, “The current explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way we live and communicate but is rapidly and profoundly altering our brains” (116).  These changes to our brains are responsible for slowly transforming us into zombies that can no longer communicate effectively.  The destruction of our brains is real!  In 2008, a study of twenty-four people was conducted.  The study included twelve tech savvy people who surfed the Internet regularly and twelve people who avoided the Internet.  Incredibly, as the tech-savvy people surfed Google, researchers noticed that their prefrontal cortexes showed a considerably high amount of activity, while the twelve who were inexperienced with the Internet had virtually no activity.  Most surprisingly, after surfing the Internet an hour a day for five days, the Internet illiterates had the same amount of prefrontal brain activity as the tech-savvies.  Scary! According to Carr, “What we’re experiencing is, in a metaphorical sense, a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: we are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest” (134).  We are slowly losing our ability to think critically, as we conform to the primitive ways of hunting via the Internet.  Carr argues that we are evolving into brain-damaged zombies reduced to habitual grazing on the World Wide Web.  Now, take a moment to reflect on how much time young children, the future of our country, are spending engaged with technology.  If a baby cries, parents of the twenty-first century coddle the baby with an iPhone.  If a toddler is being obnoxious, parents hand the child an iPad to “play an educational game”.  Even educators are forced to include technology in their lessons in order to satisfy the requirements of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES). Personally, I spent an entire semester in a class dedicated to teaching future teachers how to effectively integrate technology into the classroom and now I am questioning everything.  Are educational games really educational?  Should technology be used in the classroom?  Is the Internet building knowledge or destroying it?   Is the Internet transforming us into Jimmy Neutrons or zombies?  Brain blast!  Literally.
adkins_lindsay More than 1 year ago
This book is one I was required to read for a class. I, honestly, would not have read it if it were not, but not because of the topic. The topic – how the internet affects our brains – is fairly interesting, and when I first began reading the book, I was eager to learn the answer to this. However, when I started flipping through the pages of the book, I noticed that the writing style is not one I enjoy. I skimmed through a few chapters and realized that Carr has taken this interesting topic, and made it dull. I do think Carr brings up several valid points  about how the the internet has affected our thought processes. He mentions how the internet has caused our ability to concentrate to  decrease. This is something that I have noticed, as well, and he uses the specific example of being able to focus on reading. I used to  read at least one book a week, but since I've began using the internet more, the amount of reading I do has significantly decreased. Carr  proposes that the reason people have loss focus on reading  is because the internet has actually changed the way our brains operate. I think this is something interesting to ponder, but it's not something that I haven't thought about before. While Carr makes interesting points, he, however, fails to provide any profound insight. Overall, I found this book to be very tedious to get through, as he focused much too  heavily on historical events that didn't seem to be especially relevant to the topic. Nearly every chapter begins with an exceptionally  detailed description of a past event. He does provide adequate research, I believe, but he presents this research in an unappealing,  pedantic way. 
EmaleyR 19 days ago
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr is a refutation to those who automatically accept a society in which information is unlimited, content may be fractured but is effortlessly accessed, and where people are constantly browsing social media, email, and other websites. To some, this fast-paced world that we live in is convenient and pleasurable—who wouldn’t want shop from their couch and communicate with virtually anyone through their laptop? However, Carr explains what we are losing in exchange for our vigorous, interconnected, Internet-fueled society. Inferring from the wisdom of philosophers like Plato and McLuhan and based on recent discoveries in neuroscience, Carr argues that the Internet physically rewires our brains to the extent of transforming human behaviors to computer-like behaviors. He claims that we become “gobblers of information”, and humans lose the ability to interact and behave as such. I may not have chosen to read this book if I had been browsing through the library, but I absolutely enjoyed the reading and received great insight from Carr and his research. I agree with the majority of Carr’s assertions and have always been skeptical of how technology is affecting our social and intellectual skills. Reading this novel solidified my beliefs toward this concept and provided research, philosophy, and science to support it. While some are entirely accepting of the influence of technology and see no negative effects on our world, I stand firmly by the notion that technology has changed our perception of communication, behavior, morals, and relationships in a detrimental way. I witness firsthand the changes in adults since the cell phone has become popular, and I honestly dread to see this generation of children that are being raised on smart phones transform into adults. Through The Shallows, Carr intends to snap the human race out of the entrancing pull of our iPhones, tablets, laptops, social media, and instant EVERYTHING. It is vital for our society to come to the realization that most adults no longer have the communication skills to have a simple conversation with a friend, let alone a stranger or employer. One of Carr’s main subjects is our lack of ability to focus for a length of time on any reading or task due to our habits of compulsively checking texts and Facebook messages and emails. We can’t stop scrolling through Instagram looking at the same pictures over and over, but we have no difficulty dazing off in class or skimming through an assigned reading because it’s too boring. "We shouldn't allow the glories of technology to blind our inner watchdog to the possibility that we've numbed an essential part of our self," Carr implores. Technology is useful and can be beneficial if used correctly and in moderation. Students should be aware of the endless resources and information available at their fingertips, but they should also practice acquiring research through a book in the library. We should be grateful to have the ability to communicate with family and friends across the world, but we should also be able to respond to a stranger asking us how our day is going. Carr insists that we value wisdom over knowledge and appreciate everything the world has to offer, which goes way beyond a computer screen.
hannahb 19 days ago
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains By: Nicholas Carr I normally do not like reading unless I am very interested in the book, so my initial thought was that I wasn’t going to like the book because it was a required reading. However, I was actually very interested and it has opened my eyes to how technology can and has changed our brains and lives. When I was a little kid, I didn’t grow up with IPads, tablets, or IPhones to play on and keep me entertained, I had to go play outside and use my imagination. The only time I can remember playing on the computer was when we had to use dial up Internet, which took too long anyway so I ended up not wanting to play on it. I truly believe kids in this day and time don’t know how to just go play because all they have ever known is somebody handing them a phone or tablet to keep them entertained. I liked the statement that Carr said, “The computer, I began to sense, was more than just a simple tool that did what you told it to do. It was a machine that, in subtle but unmistakable ways, exerted an influence over you.” I agree with this statement because technology can have a major influence on us. Everywhere you go you see people on their phones or using a laptop. It can be distracting and a major downfall in some cases. The Internet in some way has consumed us and taken control of us. Carr explains that technology has made us lose our ability to concentrate. I also agree with this because it is even hard for me to get my work finished knowing that I could just be on my phone or doing something else on the computer. Carr wants us to think about the effects that the Internet can have on the human species and how it has shaped our lives. It’s hard to imagine not having any technology, because if we need to look up something we can find it with a click of a button. This just shows how it has changed our lives and how we are so reliant on the Internet.
Viola_Rose 19 days ago
The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brains Book Review by Viola Rose The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brains is a great book to read. To be completely honest, I was really skeptical before I started reading this book. I thought, well, this is just going to be another useless book that I am required to read for a College course. At first I had little interest in reading this book. I thought that it was going to be a book that was either glorifying the internet or the exactly the opposite. After reading the first chapter or two, I became more engaged and interested. It made me think of how much the internet has changed over the years and how much it has affected our lives. Nicholas Carr really makes the reader think about how much the internet is affecting our brains. It affects our way of thinking, intellectually, and the physical anatomy of our brain. He argues that the internet is changing the way our brain is processing information. He talks about a lot of different experiments and research that supports his theory. I like how he uses his own experience with the internet in his book. He admitted that the internet had affected him and how he noticed that he was not thinking the same way he used to do before his computer. He started to realize that his mind would start to wonder off and loose concentration when reading, and how deep reading had become a struggle for him. As I read about his experience, I started to think about how the internet has affected my family and I. Just as Carr admitted, I have started to realize how much I rely on the internet and how it affects my way of thinking. My concentration starts to drift after reading a few pages and I have to try to drag my mind back to the text that I am trying to read. For the majority of us, the amount of time that we spend online has increased overtime. I believe that this book has a really great point and it has made me really think about how often we should use the internet, and not only how much time we spend online, but how we spend that time online. I think I will start to spend my time online more wisely now and try not to rely on it as much as before. But just as Carr said, the seductions of technology are hard to resist.
jordethack 19 days ago
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr was honestly not a book I would have picked up if it was not a mandatory reading for one of my college courses. It was written in a similar format of one of his previous novels “Silent Spring”, which I was not a fan of so I already had a preconceived assumption that I would not like this book. As I continued to read past the history at the beginning I found the novel to be very insightful on a topic that most Americans do not want to visit-what the internet is unknowingly doing to our brains. A few years ago the computer was all the rage, now we have laptops, cell phones, tablets, iPads, and so many more deices that we come in contact with every day. As a fellow daily internet user I had never thought about the way the internet was affecting my way to process information or that it might be making me less intelligent. The author is thoughtful in the way he elegantly depicts how the internet affects our brains and how it has taught us, just like the author, to think differently. Carr discusses that he does not think the way he used to think, and using the internet over the years has caused the way he intakes information to be shallow. Critical thinking in most cases has gone out the window and the shallow form of thinking is the new trend. The internet is molding our minds in different ways every day and I think this is a wonderful book to display the harmful effects that the internet can cause humans. As a future educator this was very eye opening to read and ponder on for my future students. I would never want to teach them something that would diminish their way to think or understand so this book opened my eyes to thoughts that I may need to use technology sparingly in the classroom.
LindsB 20 days ago
As a twenty-something year old in the year 2016, I am not naive to the fact technology is a major factor and influence in my life. It plays its part in almost everything I do. From doing homework, to cooking dinner, to typing this review right now about a book I read online, technology is without a doubt a key part of my everyday life. I know that I rely heavily on my phone and computer to function in day to day life, but could it really be taking over my life? The Shallows by Nicholas Carr suggests, yes! I was a bit taken back when I first began reading this book, because I could tell it came from a stand point that would not approve of the amount of time I spent “online.” I wanted to defend myself at parts and say “well, sure. Maybe I do spend too much time on my phone but…” and every time I came up short. This book is eye opening to the fact that we are numbing our senses but not exercising our brains enough! When all it takes is a quick google search and scrolling to find an answer to your homework problem, how are you using and exercising your critical thinking skills? When you can watch any video or clip at the touch of a mouse and just as quickly flip from facebook, to twitter, to Instagram how are you focusing and exercising your attention span? Carr does an excellent job discussing this ever-looming issue and the effects it can have and has had on the world we live in.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Carly Dyer I read “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” In Carr’s argument he believes that, over time, our thoughts have been shaped by ‘tools of the mind.’ Basically saying that the internet could be causing more harm than good. This was a very interesting read and I feel should be a more explored topic since technology is becoming such a large part of our youth today. However, I do not completely agree with Carr. I do believe that, yes, the internet may sometimes be distracting, but it can be used as a great enhancement for knowledge. Any informational question that anyone may have can be answered by the touch of a finger. So if a child is curious about a topic and researches it, is this not expanding his knowledge? Of course! However, some may argue that having access to such a great amount of knowledge so easy may be spoiling the ones who use it. Which is where Carr explains how printed books also give us this knowledge, but encourage more creative thought. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the internet simply provides information very quickly with little thought involved. I do see the usefulness of book and I have always loved reading, however, having access to technology in school, I feel, has acted more as an aid. Maybe it is true that the internet provided fast, straightforward answers, but is this always a bad thing? Carr also says that this availability is causing us to lose our capacity for concentration. Once again, I would have to disagree. While growing up while using technology, I know that I have not lost my “ability to concentrate” nor do I feel at all that my mind has been altered in any way. If anything, I feel that the internet is one of the most useful sources for our students. If a child is curious enough about a topic to look it up on google, chances are, they will retain the knowledge.
Gina_A 20 days ago
The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains is an absolute must read! I think that if you are in education it is even more important for you to read this book by Nicholas Carr, which was a New York Times bestseller. Carr gives an excellent look at how addictive the Internet and technology really are and the effects on brains. In one part of the book he says, it is crazy to think the internet could change the way things were happing in our brains, but the brain is “forever a work in progress.” Our brains are elastic and are able to change, but they do not necessarily go back to original state like a rubber band would. The brain will change with the use of technology. Throughout this very informative book, Carr uses many studies to support his claim that the internet, though beneficial to some point, is diminishing our capacity to think thoughtfully. He uses findings in neuroscience from Dr. Michael Merzenich and Dr. Eric Kandel to support his statement that technology that we use can change the neural pathways of the brain. This could be detrimental to people being able to problem solve the more dependent we become on finding information on the internet and not having knowledge. Calculators, which were initially objected by parents, actually stimulate the memory. They work completely opposite of the internet. The internet causes individuals to forget information. Carr says that they main thing to remember in memory consolidation is being attentive to details. This book was truly eye opening on how we use everyday technology. As I move forward I feel like because of this book by Nicholas Carr, I am going to be very selective when I turn first to the internet. I want to practice and teach to experience the world in the here and now, instead of cyber space.
Ariannaleigh 20 days ago
The Shallows We all know that our civilization today is addicted to the internet, mostly social media in my opinion, but it has driven us into a state that makes us incapable to socialize and interact with others in our everyday lives, and we have come to the point where the internet basically runs our lives. In The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains, Nicholas Carr does a great job at providing information and examination on how the internet influences our brains and all of its neural pathways. Before reading this book, I knew that people were enlightened with the internet, and we spend all of our time on it. After reading this book, however, it has really opened my eyes as to exactly how much we are on the internet and exactly what it is doing to our brains and our thought process. The internet has pretty much turned us into “zombies”. This is what Carr wants us to realize; he wants us to think about the effects the internet is having on our lives, whether it be our brains, social capabilities, our everyday living, and just exactly how we think about knowledge. I think Carr is really wanting us to realize what this world has come to in the way of the internet and what it is doing to us, and by doing so, we will change our ways and become more intelligent individuals, instead of these people who are incapable of thinking on their own. I wasn’t sure about this book at first, and thought it would be a tad bit boring to read, especially if you are not into technology, but Carr definitely made it easy and delightful to read. I give this book a five star rating, and hope it opens your eyes just as it did my own!
Caroline_Pitts 20 days ago
Caroline Nicki Pitts What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains: The Shallows – Book Review The book, “What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains: The Shallows” is such an eye opening book that I would have never even thought to have picked up. Although it was a mandatory read in one of my educational courses, I enjoyed every chapter of the novel. Nicholas Carr fully explains how technology is taking over our lives while discussing the effects it has on our brains. I was a bit skeptical when I began to read this novel, because today’s society leads us to think that technology is nothing short of amazing. As a future educator, I was taught to believe that technology is such a remarkable tool and that we should involve it in our classroom in any way we possibly can. As I got further into the book, it started to alter my perception on technology. Carr explains that the internet is slowly eroding our critical thinking skills, while it is ruining our attention span. While the internet can be useful to obtain information, it is simply just giving us the information that we need, while it is not allowing us to process the information critically. When it comes to our attention span, we are constantly distracted with social media so it becomes more difficult to complete our daily tasks. Carr also clarifies how humans’ minds are so quick to become one with computers. According to Carr, “There’s growing evidence, moreover, that our brains naturally mimic the states of the other minds we interact with, whether those minds are real or imagined.” As this statement was introduced to me, I tried to ponder when there was a time that I didn’t rely on technology in my everyday life. The disheartening thing is that I couldn’t think of a time when I didn’t rely on my phone to look up information or to communicate with others. I began to realize that I am a prime example of how the internet has affected the Human Species.
anagalicia More than 1 year ago
This book was a very interesting read. It was very eye opening. Today, everything comes from the Internet. Every time we have a question about something, we turn to Google or Bing for the answer. We never look for answers in an encyclopedia anymore. We talk to friends and family that we haven’t seen in years through the Internet. We don’t make many phone calls anymore. A Facebook message is good enough. The author Nicholas Carr is concerned for humans these days. He believes the Internet is making us stupid. I believe anyone who is on the Internet daily should read this book. It will open your eyes and make you realize that the Internet is actually taking over our brains. The price that we pay for technology, as Carr says, is one that we should be concerned about. We, as humans, are so dependent of our phones and our computers to answer all our questions. We don’t do things for ourselves anymore. That is Carr’s biggest concern. When I was a kid, we did not use the Internet as much. A computer was so much more expensive then they are today. Today, we have one at our fingertips. We can go to the public library and use one. There are at least three computers in each classroom at schools, plus computer labs. Also, phones. A phone is just like a mini computer that you have on you almost all the time. I think Carr did an amazing job with this book. It definitely opened my eyes to see how the world is these days. It is actually very sad to me how we depend so much on the Internet. But it is our reality.
MeganGross More than 1 year ago
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr This book really caught my attention and while reading it things really started to make sense. We are living in such a technological age and I come to ask myself often whether or not it’s really a good thing. I found this book difficult to read; but in a sense, the topic of this book kind of puts that in perspective. Just in the first chapter it talks about our inability to read something beyond a few paragraphs. I honestly think that’s what hooked me into reading this book. It was almost as if something clicked in my brain and said, “This really explains a lot!” I’m also impressed with his chapter, “The Juggler’s Brain,” that really hits on our dependence of technology. As sad as it may sound, as a college student I have to almost take my cell phone into another room just to get anything done. This chapter made me realize that the internet and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. are taking over my life and my time. I find myself pointlessly surfing the internet and reading ridiculous articles instead of diving into my studies. This saddens me and makes me want to strive to change things. Has the internet really done this to me and our generation? Carr certainly gives a great insight that it in fact has. On page 177 Carr refers to Socrates saying that as people grew accustomed to writing down their thoughts and reading the thoughts of others they become less dependent on the contents of their own memory. I find myself googling things far too often, even things that I have googled before. I am completely skipping storing the information into my memory. In fact, Carr tells us that the computer and all of the online databases provide and effective and a superior substitute for personal memory. Carr does a great job of questioning how the internet is changing us and possibly our way of thinking, if you are looking for a good read and something to really reflect on here it is.
molly helton More than 1 year ago
Molly Helton: The book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr is a very interesting book to read. I personally have never read a book like this before, I’ve always read fictional books and those books have never opened my mind like this one has. This book makes you see how much technology has taken over of lives, sometimes without us even really realizing it. When I started this book I was not a fan. To be completely honest, there were a lot of words that Carr used that I’ve never even heard before. So from the start I figured there was no way I could read this book and like it. But, I was wrong. Although this book may be challenging to some at first, it DOES get better. In a lot of ways, I liked having a book that’s challenging because it’s always wonderful to learn new vocabulary. It’s kind of hard to say technology is really bad and it’s also hard to say technology is really good. Carr makes you see that although technology is a good thing, it’s also bad. Of course technology is one amazing thing. Most people walk around with a computer in their hand that can do so many tasks. That’s good if you need to look something up or need to calculate something in a second, or take a picture without spending any time looking for one. But it’s also bad because it’s very distracting. Most people can’t go 20 minutes without looking at their phone at social media or text messages. On page 47 Carr said “Though we’re rarely conscious of the fact, many of the routines of our lives follow paths laid down by technologies that came into use ling before we were born.” Reading that paragraph really opened my mind up about how much technology runs this world. This book has many other paragraphs that’ll show you a different perspective on the world with technology. I recommend it to anyone that’s interested in books like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jenna Graham The Shallows by Nicolas Carr is a wonderful read that makes people think about how the internet has slowly taken over our lives without us realizing it. When a person sits back and thinks about it, we realize that our society is controlled by the internet. We use it as maps, to make reservations, to find out medical information and socialize with friends and family members we cannot physically be with. Carrs chapter called, “The Jugglers Brain” Is an accurate representation about how well we have become with using a computer or a iPhone. It clearly states how repetitive we are with the things we do with our devices. We hardly have to think to pull up our Facebook, Google, or send a text. The author brings this into consideration because a person really does not realize how distracting a phone or computer can be. With the internet, some may believe we no longer need to read books or even remember phone numbers because our phones and computers can do this for us. A person uses their phone every single day so send a text and even look up a question with no time at all. I believe that Carr really makes us think about how stupid that the internet is truly making us. Carr talks early in the book about the creation of the computer and how far it has come. I personally did not realize how far we have advanced in such a short period of time. He talks about the first Macintosh computers and the first DVD burners and zip drives. I felt like this was a very crucial part for this book because without the background information about how the computers evolved into what they are now, we cannot truly appreciate what they have come to today. Over all, this was a good book and I truly enjoyed it. I would recommend others read it to open their eyes about how the internet is really effecting our brain.
Boykin_Hannah More than 1 year ago
Nicholas Carr really gets readers thinking about their ability to read and the effect of the internet on our brain right from the beginning. The fast paced internet is having an effect on our ability to read long passages. I thought about this and agree. Since I started spending more time on the internet, I cannot sit down and read a book for long periods of time. This is not only in reading but in everyday life as Carr explains, e-mail is an addicting. The e-mail update every five minutes and people constantly stop more than every five minutes. This is true with me. I do check my e-mail a lot throughout the day because my phone is connected and I do not need a computer. This also happens with calendar reminders where your phone reminds you of an event instead of you remembering. Carr foes on to say that we will always wonder how the brain works and that google is not good or evil, it is the human mind that makes it that way. I agree with Carr, machines are neutral. It is the person who inputs the data that is good or bad, Carr explained the more we use computers the more we trust them then our brains. Carr ends the book with a warning. We are rushing to buy all the electronical devices without thinking about the effects it might have. Overall, “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains the Shallows,” is an accurate representation of the internet usage of today. Carr used sources that supported his opinion and used sources that did not support his opinion. He used these sources to find fault with the other side and make his argument stronger. It is a well-researched book and he put a lot of time into it. It has many valid point that people might want to consider for the future.