With the current technology, it is impossible to tell whether the world as a whole is moving either in the right or wrong direction. For example by looking at the works of two authors; Johnson who wrote, “Watching TV Makes you Smarter” and Carr who wrote “is Google Making us Stupid?” shows that at times people agree on the direction that technology is taking the world, yet at other times, they do differ. This essay compares and contrasts Johnson’s “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” and Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” the thoughts and options considered important are the content issue and the execution methods. It compares the ideas of technology and media and their roles in the human affairs in the two articles. It looks at the discussions of one other that makes one think of the other in either connected or disconnected manner. It goes ahead explaining the comparison and effectiveness of styles used by the two authors, and their audience.
Bothe Johnson and Carr talk about the influence to the thinking capability of viewers. While Johnson is talking of the demands that are placed on the viewers minds by the narratives that people watch in the referring to it as quality entertainment, the concentration that is maintained to narratives, the intelligence of actions of actors appears on screens hence viewers copy the actions and traits hence becoming intelligent. “They say witty things to one another and avoid lapsing into tired sitcom clichés, and we smile along in our living rooms, enjoying the company of these smart people” (Johnson, 1).
At the same time Carr also talks on the effects of the internet. Though the advantages of the net are mansions as for example reducing the research time, for him the net is coming to be the media that is universal as it contains a lot of information hence one has no need of thing much, but every good thing usually comes with the price attached to it. Though they provide a lot of information but it changes the way one thinks. It teaches individuals to take information the way it is, not thinking further. “….Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” (Carr P, 4). Also in (Carr p, 5) other people express the same feelings “Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits”.
When discussing this implication on the effects of media on thinking by Carr, it makes the reader refer to Johnson who is discussing how media makes someone intelligent. One side the reader has to look at the effects as presented by Carr who a firms that internet makes one not o think. Carr says “As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”—the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies” (Carr p, 17). Makes one refer to Johnson who is narrating on the positive thinking which comes as a result of watching, as he say “Think of the cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads.” (Johnson, 2).
Concerning the writing style, both Johnson and Carr have used the narrative style. They have all the factual stories about the effects of the media in general. For example Carr not only narrates the influence of the net but also the effects of other modes of media.“..Net’s influence doesn’t end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse info-snippets.” (Carr, p, 16). While Johnson explains the effects of watching movies, “Shortly after the arrival of the first-generation slasher movies – “(Johnson 2). The style has been effective because the reader is allowed to wholly know the actors and understand their motives. This is because the audience has been reading the personal projection of the author as they sink into the narrators’ psyche.
Johnson targets the young people while Carr targets the researchers. When explaining about the slipper curve, the narrator points out that media have had changing effects on the mental development of youngsters. He says “most important new force altering the mental development of young people today” (Johnson, 1). Carr targets scientists who carry out research but their research ends up depending much on what the web describes but not their own thinking. “Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes.”(Carr, p, 3). This shows that he is explaining the importance of the net to the researchers.
In conclusion, it can be retaliated that watching the TV very carefully one can become intelligent, by apart from relaxing and laughing but concentrates on speeches and actions made by the characters. However, the internet should be used with great care as they may end up killing the thinking capability of individuals since it contains around all of the information needed. So comparing and contrasting the two articles Johnson’s “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” and Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?, it can be concluded that while watching enhances thinking, internet prohibits thinking.