How Does Technology Influence the “Google Generation”?

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Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, our current generation, the so-called “Google generation”, is being influenced in a negative way. So what is the actual meaning of “Google generation”? One of the common definitions is that “The “Google generation” is a popular phrase that refers to a generation of young people, born after 1993, growing up in a world dominated by the Internet” (Rowlands et al. 292). However, that definition is not definitely precise. Jim Ashling says, “Everyone is members of the Google generation. All age groups exhibit some Google-generation traits” (22). Thus, the Google generation encompasses not only the young, but also the other generations. Which one creates the Google generation? The answer is technology. Since it is inherent in every area of life, the Google generation is impacted by it, which consists of changing their behaviors, affecting their critical thinking, swaying their reading habit, and making the children digital-age. The internet is currently considered an integral part of the society. It provides both advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, the information literacy of young people has not been improved with the widening access to technology (Rowlands et al. 295). Further, Internet research shows that the speed of young people's web searching means that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority (Rowlands et al. 295). This will make them more work-shy. In addition, young people have a poor understanding of their information needs and thus find it difficult to develop effective search strategies (Rowlands et al. 295). As a result, they exhibit a strong preference for expressing themselves in natural language rather than analyzing which key words might be more effective (Rowlands et al. 295). Moreover, young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers (Rowlands et al. 296). Consequently, the search engine, Yahoo or Google, becomes the primary brands that they associate with the internet (Rowlands et al. 296). Therefore, their ability of evaluating and searching information will principally count on the search tools, and their creativity will be restricted. In the other words, it can be considered a type of artificial literacy. When they receive information of a specific topic, they think that they understand it. However, no one recognizes that information is extracted from technology, especially the internet, not from their authentic perceptions. “Critical thinking as an attitude is embedded in Western culture. There is a belief that argument is the way to finding truth,” observes Adrian West, research director at the Edward de Bono Foundation U.K., and a former computer science lecturer at the University of Manchester (Greengard 18). Thereby, critical thinking is very crucial in speculating the information. If one loses that ability, he cannot perceive the entity of issues. Unfortunately, currently rapid development of technology causes their thinking process to be passive. They are not able to think the way which was formerly. In contrast, their present thinking process may be called machinery sense. Greengard states about this issue: Although there is little debate that computer technology complements and often enhances the human mind in the quest to store information and process an ever-growing tangle of bits and bytes, there is increasing concern that the same technology is changing the way we approach complex problems and conundrums, and making it more difficult to really think (18). Additionally, the wealth of communications and information can easily overwhelm our reasoning abilities (Greengard 18). Accordingly, Bugeja concludes “Without critical thinking, we create trivia” (Greengard 19). Seriously, it is time to take a closer and more serious look at technology and understand the subtleties...
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