Becky's Reviews > The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
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's review
Oct 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, nonfiction
Read from October 16 to November 07, 2010

This book is all about the effects of modern technology on the human brain. I read about this book when it first came out and was excited to read it, mostly because of arguments I have with friends about smart phones. I do not have, nor do I want a smart phone and think they have a negative effect on society. I thought this book would provide some ammunition to support my argument and I was not disappointed.

This book was fascinating on so many levels. I learned about the development of writing and printing (which may sound boring, but was absolutely fascinating), the workings of the brain, and the philosophy behind Google, just to name a few. And, as the subtitle suggests, I learned a whole lot about what the internet is doing to my brain, and the results are not good. Lack of focus, problems with retaining knowledge, inability to fully immerse in reading: all of these are symptoms of high internet use that I definitely experience.

This book did not turn me completely against the internet. Just as the development of written language and the later development of the printing press gave information to the masses, so has the internet. But the problem is in the overexposure, the constant distraction, and information overload.

I had the unique experience of reading the first half of this book when my computer was broken. During that time, I found it easier to sit and read for an hour or more and really become engrossed in what I was reading. However, as I read the last half of the book, my computer was fixed. Just knowing the internet was there, sitting and waiting for me made it so much harder to focus and I feel that I retained a lot less from the last half. It was interesting and somewhat depressing to actually experience the things he was describing in the book as I read it.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone. If you work in education, or work with people with ADD, or feel addicted to the internet, or are interested in how the brain works, I think you will find this book fascinating. I think it is one of the few books that actually make me want to change the way I live. Less internet, more uni-tasking focused time.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new)

Dan I was going to make a joke about this book but now I think I'm going to suggest it to my boss and get some ass-kissing points. Thanks Becky!

message 2: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom good informative review. I'll add to my to reads.

Katie I almost changed my rating to three stars after I read your review. I think I like your review better than the book.

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