London. Over the last few weeks I was thinking about what students back in Germany want to know about studying abroad. For me it is clear: You have heard enough about how great this city is and how many different possibilities you have to spend your leisure time in London. I am sure it doesn’t need more good reasons to persuade you of this liveable metropolis. However, one important component is missing in reporting and that is what we are actually learning here and how studying at the University of Westminster and especially the module PR and Advertising improves our skills and knowledge in order to prepare us for our future careers.
I am very happy to have the opportunity to share my studying experiences here at the University of Westminster with all my fellow students and hopefully with many future Westminster students. In the next few weeks I am trying to give you a little insight in what the contents here at this University in London be like. Further, I would love to give you little impulses that are worth thinking about. You can follow my experiences here at the Macromedia 6+1 Blog or at my Facebook page.
So, lets start with the first, in my view very interesting, topic: Is Google Making Us Stupid?
And the answer is: YES! Everybody knows, the development of new technologies and, therefore the advancement of new or mass media have a huge impact on different aspects of our society. These new framing conditions do not only influence economics and politics, but also our culture. In other words, the human behaviour and human interaction changes in many ways. The most interesting and at the same time most doubtful development in this context is the influence of Google (or other search engines) not only on our behaviour or interaction, but also on human ways of thinking like Nicholas Carr outlines in his article ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’. Surveys revealed that the enormous varieties of content available online changes not only our way of thinking, but also our way of reading:
1) It is not necessary to read full articles or even a whole book anymore. As a consequence of nowadays so-called “infopollution”, people are starting to skim-read articles or even take all there information out of headlines. They switch from one article to another (from one tab to another) without really deepen into one of them. That is why it becomes harder and harder for people to stay focused on one specific topic. They are simply not used to it anymore.
2) Further the increase of Internet usage affects human’s memory, because it is not necessary anymore to know things by heart. Everything people want to know is available online at every time and everywhere.
3) In addition, corporates like Google start to sort out and to decide for every user individually what they want to know. Google users get only shown what is fitting to their ‘searching history’, and therefore to the knowledge they already have – which is quite useful in different situations, on the other hand does this enforce the stultification and narrow-mindedness of our society. Search engines keep many people from understanding the whole context of a topic. Further they disable humans from looking at one subject from different perspectives.
Isn’t that crazy? Let me know what you think about this!