The Internet: Wonderland or Wasteland?

February 7, 2012

For years the Internet has increasingly become the go-to source for information, networking, shopping, and socializing.  You can read the news on any major news outlet, check the weather for the day, send messages to friends and family, and buy anything your heart desires, all before getting out of bed or having your first cup of coffee, and all at the touch your fingertips.

The Internet can easily be considered the greatest medium for information, and it has completely transformed the way we communicate, the way we shop, and even the way we learn.  While the Internet can certainly be considered a convenience, is there ever a point when too much information or too much access is a problem?
In the recent report “Are We on Information Overload?” posted on, Thomas Rogers interviews David Weinberger, author of recently published Too Big to Know, on the impact the Internet has on knowledge today and if the vastness of readily available information is too much for our minds to handle.  According to Weinberger:

Ask anybody who is in any of the traditional knowledge fields, and she or he will very likely tell you that the Internet has made them smarter.  They couldn’t do their work without it; they’re doing it better than ever before, they know more; they can find more; they can run down dead ends faster than ever before.  In the sciences and humanities, it’s hard to find somebody who claims the Internet is making him or her stupid, even among those who claim the Internet is making us stupid….Curiosity can lead you to lots of bad directions.  It can steer you wrong and waste your time, but it is fundamental.  We need it more than anything else if we’re going to try to understand our world.  Now we have a medium that is as broad as our curiosity.

I really don’t know if I can say that the Internet has made me smarter (especially with the constant flow of nonsense I expose myself to on a regular basis on social networking sites), but it’s certainly made doing my job easier on many occasions.

The information you can find on the Internet is limitless, and if you can’t find something, you have the ability to put it there so the next person can find it.  As Weinberger suggests, it is a great tool for the curious mind.  If the curious mind suffers from lack of focus, though, then I would imagine overload is a definite possibility.

Stacey Duwe, February 7, 2012

Sponsored by




Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta