Does internet make us stop thinking ? インターネットは私たちの思考を停止させるか

2019年12月4日

The fault of searching web (ウェブ検索の過失)
-When internet tells you all information we want, do we still think?  Do we think about the information seriously?

Long time ago, I read a psychological article. It said that when we found an answer or stuff that we have been looking for,  we get satisfied with the result and we stop thinking “why" it is like that. I have an example for this situation.

When we travel to Paris, majority of us will probably go to see the Eiffel tower. It is an all-time best tourist attraction, and everyone wants to see it with their very eyes. However, when we actually see it, we just feel it is no different than pictures that they have been seeing all the time. We get satisfied with that fact we saw it, and with taking pictures or posting on Instagram or whatever, we do not go out of our way to think the background or history of this tower.

I think the same thing is happening with using internet too.  If we want to know how to say “where is the bathroom" in Japanese, we google it and get the answer immediately. (The answer is お手洗いはどこですか? by the way. )When we use a dictionary to look up something, not only we encountered the answer of what we have been looking for, but also we learned other information such as usages and other words that near it. By using internet, we get an answer too quick without doing anything besides getting one answer, we do not have time to think, in other words we do not use our brain.

What I am trying to say here is that when we put a question in the searching box, we get an answer. It is quick, easy and correct(credibility of internet information is another question, though.) so we keep doing it repeatedly. It could be named as 思考の直線化(linearization of thoughts).

However,  I would like to mention that the very opposite thing is also happening with internet.  Simply, where there are more choices, there are more decisions to make.  When we want to find an answer in internet, we could spend hours and hours searching the answer we get satisfied with. Sometimes those answers can make you perplex more.

With all said, I also have to take benefit for using internet into account. Since searching for an answer on internet is the fastest way, you shorten your time to get information you need, and maximize your time to do something that matters to you more.  To give an example, when you are building a computer on your own and get stuck, you can get all the information you need and even ask experts for a help, not buying a book that takes five to ten more time. You can choose when to sacrifice your time. Nobody wants to waste your time that could have been spent for something precious that makes our life better.

Furthermore, from one of my American friends’ perspective, by using an internet, we developed skills to analyze big data in short time. By touching massive information many times, we became better at selecting the information we really need.  By doing so, we get a big picture of the things we wanted to know.

I cannot conclude with one answer, that internet stopped us from thinking, because there is always positive/negative effects for everything, but what really matters is our time.  We use internet wisely so we can utilize our time best.