Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Impact of the internet on our brain

A brief article "15 ways the internet is changing our brain" suggests the internet has both beneficial and detrimental effects on the operation of our brains.

Benefits include:
  • We don't have to worry about remembering a lot of trivial information. We can store phone numbers, addresses, etc. on the computer and can quickly search for data on Google, or some other search engine.
  • We're better at being able to locate the information we need
  • Scores have increased on intelligence tests
Areas for concern:
  • We don't give things our full attention the way we once did.  Increasingly people are multitasking; using social media, surfing the web, listening to music, etc.
  • Our memories have been weakened. We have lower rates of recall.
  • It is more difficult for us to concentrate.  Deep reading is becoming increasingly difficult for many.
  • We're becoming physically addicted to the bombardment of stimulation provided by the internet.
  • Many of us become more interested and distracted by new information provided on the internet or via email, rather than focusing on existing knowledge and important, but perhaps less exciting tasks.
  • Becoming accustomed to short bursts of information we are more likely to become distracted and unfocused even when we are no longer online; perhaps to the detriment of friends and family.
  • Creative thinking may be hampered.  We are more likely to depend upon the internet, and less  likely to rely on our memory, which is required to do our own thinking.

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