Disdain for Google on the part of some academics is not new, but Tara Brabazon in her inaugural lecture at Brighton University, has created something of a stir. Alexandra Frean, Education Editor for The Time Online says:

Google is “white bread for the mind”, and the internet is producing a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information, a professor of media studies will claim this week.

Meanwhile, Andy Powell over at eFoundations counters with:

Blaming the Internet for "a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information" is a bit like blaming paper for the Daily Star.


What I find interesting is the implicit notion of a 'Google generation'. When I hear this term used pejoratively, I tend to substitute the phrase 'the trouble with the youth of today....'.

In a wonderful coincidence of timing, I note, via the JISC news feed, that the ' Google Generation is a myth'. Apparently, there is some evidence to suggest that age/generation is not an indicator for particular research behaviour:

The report ‘Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future’ also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors.


Caveat: I like white bread - it makes the best toast. Also, I found all of the material I've read so far about this via Google (apart from the stuff delivered to my RSS reader).