The Writer Nicholas Carr

The writer under scrutiny is a famous technology author having contributed articles to The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. While the world awes at the beauty of new media and its positive attributes, Nicholas Carr often criticizes technology by attributing it with negativities in society. Perhaps one of the most dominant links in his arguments is the potential of the new media to negatively influence politics by deceiving the people. In one article, Carr is adamant that the internet is negatively affecting the social lives through the transfer of these lives into people’s phones. Today, the phones have become an extension of people’s memories, something that is quite catastrophic according to him. Also, his articles allude to the loss of a people’s culture to the clouds through the continued use of the new media.

In another article, the author goes to the extent of referring to the internet as a worldwide cage thus insinuating its potential to hold people’s lives captive (Carr, 2016). Indeed, the religion of technology is perceived as having a larger following than those of Judaism and Christianity. While some of his arguments are not logically sound, such as the assertion of our brains being rewired by technology, the articles make a valid claim as far as the new media is concerned. In fact, never before have generations been as addicted to technology as they are today. Obviously, the growing trend of increased technological absorption and especially the new media is a source of concern. It is as addictive as cocaine and presents imminent dangers to the vulnerable youth. All of the articles are structured on technology criticism by pointing out the social political and economical misgivings of the new media.

Nicholas Carr is very decisive in his definition of the new media as a negative development in technology with huge implications on the social political and economic fronts. The argument is that social media has changed what matters in politics due to its focus on little messages posted by the participants (Carr, 2015). In the past, for instance, the television helped in building the image of the politician by giving the average person an experience with the government. Nicholas Carr argues that the new media has condemned politics to a show based on grabbing the most attention. The new media is also portrayed as a security threat through the collection of large scales of personal information by such entities as Google and Apple. The author then cites the loss of culture among people using the new media. The Declaration of Independence for instance would have been shared via email and edited electronically with every share. In these arguments, therefore, the author paints a grim picture of the new media.

The author agrees that the media has transformed from the radio to the television and now to the social media. The latest media is however different from the past media in that it portrays negative impacts on the people in both social and political aspects (Carr, 2016). While the new media has brought in positive attributes such as websites, internet, blogs and social media, it is also a source of increased negativities. In politics, the new media has transformed the political discourse into another simple chitchat stream. Traditionally, politics were based on a serious process of thoughts and attention unlike today where trending topics determine political discourse. Further, the new media has brought in the increased surveillance of people’s lives including their personal information. In some sense, social media is an infringement on the citizen’s right to privacy. The outsourcing of memory storage deviates from the traditionally held role of emotions in recollecting memory.

The author is also generous in the use of common framing clichés and problems in technology writing. For instance, his articles take on the widely accepted concept of technological determinism. According to Carr, the new media goes against technological determinism as it does not contribute to the advancement of social and cultural development among the people. In fact, the new media as argued out in Carr’s articles presents an affront on cultural and social development (Carr, 2016). Further, the writer takes on a social shaping approach by portraying the new media as a concept that extends the people’s ability to communicate. The popularity of the social media for instance resulted in the development of devices that could extend the range of communication activities.

Nicholas Carr is a famous writer with contributions in the New York Time as well as the Wall Street Journal. However, his articles go against the common wave by focusing on technological criticism at a time when most writers are in praise of technology. All of the articles reviewed portray the new media in negative light as something the results to negative social, political and economic development. By dissociating the new media from the concept of technological determinism, Carr argues that social media does not result in the social and cultural development of the people. Consequently, the new media is a danger to the common people due to the onset of increased surveillance and addiction among the users.



Carr, N. (2015, September 2). How Social Media Is Ruining Politics. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from

Carr, N. (2016, April 1). Let’s rein in the Internet of Things before it’s too late. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from

Carr, N. (2016, March 25). Opinion | When our culture’s past is lost in the cloud. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from

Carr, N. (2016, August 26). The world wide cage. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from


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