Friday, August 27, 2010

Instant Gratification

Side effects may include loss of attention span, nausea, and suicidal thoughts.  If you have any of these, revert back 50 years and stay there!!!
            In Nicholas Carr’s article for The Atlantic “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” that very question is asked, is Google making us stupid?  Well, is it?  Not just Google but the Internet as a whole; has it affected the way in which we gather information, the way in which we read, even our attention spans?  Nicholas Carr makes very good examples of how he believes that the Internet has changed our lives in the things we do and I feel he makes some very good points.  Despite of the points he makes I still disagree with him, I don’t feel that the Internet and Google is the root cause of all this evil.  We live in a society that constantly seeks instant gratification; Google and sites like it facilitate this need, not create it.
            Instant gratification; we live in a society that feeds off of it, yearns for it; we need everything quicker, faster, and more efficiently.  Let’s really sit back and think, think of all the things we do that save time.  We have 5 minute rice because fifteen minutes took too damn long, but guess what, now we have 90 second rice, really!  Waist sizes in this country have bloated because of fast food and vending machines.  We live a life eternally on the go; those of you reading this ask yourself how often you eat fast food, on the way to or from somewhere and why?  It's much cheaper to pack your lunch but why don’t you?  I can honestly say I eat a fair amount of fast food and the reason for that is because I value the time I save as opposed to making my lunch, easy overcomes price.  For me, as well as a lot of people, microwave beats oven every time, time is of the essence. 
Look at commercials and ads we see in magazines, on TV, on the radio, on the Internet.  Get your Internet connection through us; we are 15 times faster than our leading competitor, an example of wanting things faster.  On ESPN radio, all the radio jocks are telling me to take the P90X challenge.  It’s a workout regimen that, you guessed it, will show me results within a week.  Online universities are always putting ads in magazines telling me I can get a four year degree in only three years, and I can do it on my own schedule.          
Take for instance public opinion of President Obama in less than two years in the White House.  Two years ago he was a savior who would lead us out of our financial crisis, the capitalist white knight in shinning armor.  Now, our economy is looking a little better, but still ill, and the president’s approval ratings are in the 40’s, do we really think this can be solved over night?  Sadly, a lot of people do because we want results and we want them now, were American’s!  Look at how factory production was revolutionized by Henry Ford through the assembly line.  What did the assembly line do for production?  It increased production, goods were produced, SURVEY SAYS, quicker.
Nicholas Carr is not oblivious to all this and makes reference to this in his article:

The 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.

See we agree, societies needs have to be meet now, and I mean right now for us to be
happy; but I don’t feel that Google or the Internet is the great evil that started it, it is just a catalyst for this movement of instant gratification.  And as for decreased attention spans, that is one of the side affects of instant gratification.

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