Is Google Making Us Stupid? No, it Isn't.

The Internet -- with all of its hyperlinks, videos, and fast-paced articles -- is making us stupid. You might recall that was the conclusion drawn by Nicholas Carr, who famously contended that we've lost our ability to think critically thanks to the hyperlink buffet offered by Google and other Internet commodities.

I've always been a bit bothered by that assessment -- Carr sounds a little too shrill, reacting to the Internet with dire proclamations like all the other Devil's technologies we've adapted to for the last few centuries. This week, the Harvard Business Review agrees with me.

The HBGR's Paul Michelman contends that yes, the Internet is helping to rewire our brains. He says:

Over the next five years, as digital content flows away from the desktop and into our hands through more personal digital platforms like Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and countless other reading-centric devices, we will experience yet another shift in attention. We are heading towards a deeper immersion in ideas - but of a very different kind that we experienced in the pre-Web days. We will take our new-found abilities to consume and contextualize multiple ideas and multiple forms of media and combine it with our long-held ability to dive deep into text-based content.
Dubious? Here's some proof: eBook readers like the Kindle and Nook are already near the top of the free downloads list on iTunes -- people are clearly reading long form content on their phones, iPods, and iPads.

Photo by Ian Wilson