As with most new technology, people tend to feel that it curbs both creativity and intellect. From the days of wireless radio and TV, to today with wireless Internet and online movies, people have claimed that new technology is bad for us. Within this essay I hope to prove that the Internet does curb creativity and limit thinking.
The Internet perpetuates content curation
One of the flaws with modern education systems is the fact that people quote and reference works of others in order to prove something on an essay. This does not take into account the meaning, scope or validity of the work they are referencing and quoting from. Their work is then quoted and referenced by future generations, perpetuating a system of content curation.
The Internet allows this to happen a lot faster. Where it used to take generations for works to be referenced to spawn new work that is referenced, the Internet allows this process to happen in months instead of years.
Ironically, in an attempt to prove this, here is a reference to works stating that information moves quickly on the Internet, whereas facts need time to catch up. Catherine Holland proved on “Good morning Arizona” that content/essay curation is causing problems. (Holland, 2012).
The Internet allows for misinformation to spread and become common knowledge
How can a population be more creative if they cannot get their facts right to start with? Misinformation is spread around the Internet so fast that it becomes “common knowledge” before the world has a moment to check its legitimacy.
The idea that childhood inoculations harm children was set up by four pseudo-scientists at the behest of a pharmaceuticals company that figured there was more money in treating childhood diseases than vaccinating against them. People saw this research, believed it and stopped inoculating their children. Hundreds of children had already died from these avoidable childhood diseases before the worlds governments could step in and put a stop to the lies. Ironically, by this time the misinformation had spread so thoroughly that groups had been set up to stop childhood vaccinations.
The idea that false information may be set up as common knowledge was proved with the “seven spiders per year” experiment. In 1993, columnist Lisa Holst for PC Professional proved that you can make up anything and post it online and it will be believed. The “seven spiders per year” is now a well known “fact” that some people honestly believe. (Ritchie, 2008)
The Internet is full of plausible lies, and is set up to allow plausible lies to spread faster than ever. The Internet also makes content curation faster, thereby diluting actual facts with re-written content and out-of-context quotes. These are both strong factors that will curb the creativity of a person using the Internet.
- Holland, C. (2012). Information spreads quickly online; facts move a little slower. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.azfamily.com/good-morning-arizona/Information-spreads-quickly-online-facts-move-a-little-slower-143514566.html. [Last Accessed 22nd August 2013].
- Ritchie, L. (2008). The 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullsh*t Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cracked.com/article_16241_the-6-most-frequently-quoted-bullsh2At-statistics.html. [Last Accessed 22nd August 2013].