Panelists Meriem Chida and
On Tuesday the WSU Center for Civic Engagement invited Howard, an elementary education major, and four other panelists to discuss that question in its first Under the Big Tent debate of the semester. The other panelists were
Meriem Chida, assistant professor in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Textiles,
Steven Kale, professor of history,
Jason McConnell, president of the Graduate and Professional Students Association, and Vanessa Balch, human development major.
Panelists used an article in The Atlantic by Nicholas Carr titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” as a jumping off point for the discussion. Carr describes a world where Google and other forms of Internet-related technology have rewired our brains, making us unable to concentrate or contemplate.
“It certainly changed my way of thinking about how to find a gas station at one o’clock in the morning,” he said.
McConnell said he doubted Google or Internet technology would cause the end of civilization, but he did think it was worth considering what we lose when we become dependent on information technology. He drew a comparison to the changes wrought by industrial agriculture. Without the convenience of a grocery store, he said, he would go hungry.
Panelists (from left) Vanessa Balch,
Brandon Howard and Steven Kale
“Google is a tool, not a problem,” she said. “I think what makes us stupid is if we stop at the first answer.”