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

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
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's review
Jan 03, 2011

it was amazing
Read from January 03 to February 13, 2011

I don't ordinarily choose non-fiction, but this one is a winner. The author, Nicholas Carr, develops a very strong argument for how the internet is literally changing the way our brains work. He shows the major events throughout history that caused our brains to change: the development of maps, clocks, and especially the invention of the printing press. He writes in clear language how brain research confirms that neuroplasticity allows us to respond to new intellectual tasks, some of which literally change our brain. The internet is a great tool for the spread of information but the format of quick, short bursts of stimulation encountered by web surfing - and interrupted by checking email, social networking sites, and other web applications - leaves us ill-equipped to focus on deep reading and intellectual thought. This is more of an overall call to be aware rather than a rant to pull the plug on technology. Information is no substitute for intelligence, and thoughtful people might want to explore Carr's ideas carefully with an eye to their own habits and especially those of the children in their care.

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