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Working the Future blog: our latest insights and future of work sensemaking

The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember – Nicholas Carr, 2011

2022-03-08 15:44

Admin

Reading Room, The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, Nicholas Carr,

The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember – Nicholas Carr, 2011

“I’m not thinking the way I used to think…I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article…

“I’m not thinking the way I used to think…I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article…That’s rarely the case anymore.  Now my concentration starts to drift after a page or two.  I get fidgety, lose my thread, begin looking for something else to do.  I feel like I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text.”

I defy anyone not to relate to this statement in some way. Nicholas Carr explores the distribution of information through the ages, from oral, to handwritten to print, through to the internet and the modern information age. In parallel he presents research showing how our brain structures have changed in response to the way that information on the internet is presented. This impacts our ability to think deeply and critically.

​Carr writes: “The Net’s cacophony of stimuli short-circuits both conscious and unconscious thought, preventing our minds from thinking either deeply or creatively.” When we know the skills that will be most valued in the future of work include creativity and critical thinking, this is a stark warning, and The Shallows is a credible and compelling account of the impact of the Net on our lives. ​

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