by Nicholas Carr

The Internet may be making us shallow, but it's making us think we're deep. A new Yale study reveals that searching the web provides people with an "illusion of knowledge." They start to confuse what's online with what's in their head, which gives them an exaggerated sense of their own smarts. The researchers divided test subjects into two groups. One group spent time searching the web, the other stayed offline, and then both groups estimated, in a variety of ways, their understanding of various topics. The experiments consistently showed that searching the web deludes people into believing they know more than they really do.


Nicholas Carr has published books and articles on technology, business and culture. His six sentences are excerpted from Utopia Is Creepy and Other Provocations.