IS INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK? Essay Example

  • Category:
    Logic & Programming
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    4
  • Words:
    2578

IS INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK?

Introduction

The world has significantly changed, and so many things that seemed very difficult have since become very easy and very interesting. World Wide Web has solved numerous problems that were experienced in the ancient days. Even though people had ways of storing, retrieving, and even filtering information, the internet has made that process less laborious and excessively faster. Those who came up with the internet idea are still highly regarded and constantly continue to receive praises from all sorts of the world (Brockman 2011). There are those who think that internet development was a genius work and one of the greatest achievements of human species. The same way the internet has revolutionaries all aspect of modern life it is the same way others believe it has become the greatest detractor to the way human beings think. Some scholars such as Carr have repeatedly complained of the way they think currently(Harris 2010). The same way technology has influenced the communication, transport, banking, manufacturing and many other sectors is the same the like of Carr believe the internet has changed the way people think. There are those who believe our environment has become too complex such that only internet that can power steer the human mind to the rightful solutions. This paper looks at various ways through which internet changes how people think.

Internet Usage by People

People have developed the habit of consulting the internet in search for information concerning the modernized lifestyle. The internet has become of great use to many people when it comes to carrying out research, as it is possible to find multiple topics in the area being researched. With the increased need for internet in our lives, it is important for one to start thinking of the possible consequences of the use of the internet (Huffington 2013). It is important to find out whether the internet is indeed affecting our way of thinking as human beings. In as much as it is true that the internet has provided humankind with greater access to increased productivity, one thing that should be understood is the fact that the internet has equally hindered the way human beings deliberate, view various topics, and the general thinking process. With the increased level at which internet is continuing to be intertwined with our daily lifestyle, one thing that is properly deduced from this is the fact that it is negatively shaping how the human process and even interpret information (Harris 2010). Continuous use of internet has since reduced the human desire to think, be inquisitive, comprehend, and be able to retain crucial information.

As already pointed out, there is no single person can dismiss the fact that the internet has significantly benefited society in very many ways. Through the internet, human being gets supply of vast spectrum of information and gets answers to very difficult problems that would otherwise remain unanswered. People use of internet in various ways, there are those who use the internet to explore their interest, governments and states use the internet to improve their productivity the same way companies have equally adopted the use of the internet to facilitate their production. Students have found the internet to be of great help as it is through the internet that students carry out their research work in areas that teachers may not be informed and that gives teachers the opportunity to learn new things from their students (Dunbar 2012). Even with all these positive things that internet do to our lives, there is a proven trend showing people are becoming over reliant on the internet, and that has equally diminished of our higher order thinking.

Declining Thinking Among human generation

There is great concern that the critical thinking that human beings were known for is currently declining at a faster rate compared to how it was in the ancient days. With the increase in the availability of Internet to nearly every person, virtual all solutions can be found online and without thinking or analyzing the information provided by the internet, we use it as provided (John 2010). Nicholas Carr who is a renowned and prominent evaluator of the internet and the impact internet has on individuals believes that originality and higher order thinking of human thinking is highly jeopardized by the fact that people rely on researching the opinion of others and ideas got from the internet. “We are evolving from cultivators of personal knowledge into hunters and gathers in the electronic forest…dazzled by the Net’s treasures, we are blind to the damage we may be doing to our intellectual lives and even our culture” (Carr) (Dunbar 2012). The illustration given by Carr is that there is an increase in the fact-finding system and reporting system because of the internet. He continues to say that people are currently so quick in sharing other people’s thoughts and not developing and formulating their unique ideas over the same and all is because of the internet(John 2010). Ingram Neil describes human beings as being more unadventurous, less curious, and insular because of the adoption of the internet. It is clear that such shallow adventurous thinking that come from the use of the internet can never have any positive thing to the cognitive thinking.

Way of Thinking When Working Online

There is serious concern that people develop cases of having very short attention spans and very scattered thinking due to the extensive use of the internet. The brain is exposed to internalization of very large data when one is working online with one link connecting to the other and the other to others(Johnstone 2012). There are constant pops for adverts, some pages in the other tabs having tantalizing pictures, which does not provide a better environment for the brain to function normally. Anyone who exposes the brain to such distractions and a large amount of information will have a problem reduced attention span, which prompts other major cognitive problem. It is highly difficult for the brain to stand the expansive and strong connection that is very crucial for human thinking when working online. The internet has reduced a human being to what would be called signal processing unit where information that is in disjointed bits is passed from a shorter memory and out as pointed out by Carr (Johnstone 2012). The Internet significantly reduces the ability of a parson to concentrate, and scattered thinking is what remains. Continuous and frequent exposure to the internet negatively affects how human beings process and interpreter information being obtained when online.

Malleability of Brain

The human brain is known for its highly malleable characteristics. The brain is capable of changing its form to become a very new neutral or synaptic connection with an aim of restructuring itself gradually to be able to accommodate information. There are studies that present constant usage of internet has a potential effect on the brain the internet usage is posed to aid in the restructuring of the brain in a gradual pattern. With multiple distractions, vast daily internet usage, complexity, there is the brain will have the need to shift its focus with an aim of grasping the information (Dunbar 2012). In the olden days when people were not getting exposed to the excessive use of the internet, there were not much destruction that brain was subjected to, which gave the brain the convenient environment for the understanding of any information that it was fed. People had the most effective attention and with much attention, the level of concentration and remains of a vast array of information was highly possible(Johnstone 2012). Vast usage of internet has significantly necessitated shorter attention span, and the brain is not capable of retaining most of the information that it is fed, and even absorption becomes highly very difficult. The exposure that is of costumed progress for the short attention span always resorts to conditions that potentially result to further problems and complications (Brockman 2011). There is a very nice piece that was said by Carr over the same, and the words are quoted below:

“When facts and experiences enter our long-term memory, we are able to weave them into the complex ideas that give richness to our thought… Whereas long-term memory has an almost unlimited capacity, working memory can hold only a relatively small amount of information at a time…and that short-term storage is fragile: A break in our attention can sweep its contents from our mind” (Carr) (Huffington 2013).

The argument by Carr is highly important as it gives much emphasis on how distractions that are caused by the internet have the potentials of reducing the ability of people to conceptualize, retain, and even have a comprehension of the information that they are exposed. Carr tries to make it clear that learning using a computer is never advantageous, and it is equally not efficient (Brockman 2011). Several years back when the use of the internet was not as rampant as it is in the contemporary world. People had a very effective brain that is capable of retaining, conceptualizing, and be able to comprehend information that it is exposed to but with the vast and distractive information from the internet, our brain is proving to be diminishing when it comes to doing all these (Huffington 2013). This confirms much speculation about the effect of internet usage on how we think and how we retain information.

Beneficial Change of thinking that Results from the use of Internet

It can be seen that there are several ways through which internet can be seen to alter the way human beings think (Small, Moody, Siddarth, & Bookheimer 2009). Multiple scholars such as Carr has cited multiple instances where they think the internet has significantly changed how people think majorly in the negative perspective. Out of the several ways the internet affect the thinking of people, there are other several ways in which the internet the thinking of people in a positive way. There is a paradoxical benefit that is found from the use of the internet, which is contrary to what people think as the internet affects the intelligence (Julie 2010). The internet has the potentials of increasing intelligence of the people in the world. Looking at the internet and the most culture in the contemporary world, people become more intelligent when obtaining, interpreting, and even how they process the obtained information. Looking at the world around one is capable of seeing that the world has a highly complicated and fast changing lifestyle that when coupled with the internet, the human brain is subjected to constant evolution into being into attaining intelligence level (Brockman 2011). Michael Johnson, who is a reporter, wrote how intelligence case been in constant evolution from the past generation for nearly 20 years and even more. The standard measure of cognitive ability has been on the rise for averagely 10 points and Johnson puts it that it «….is a good document fact.» It is very difficult to ignore the fact that there is a considerable rise in the impact of Internet universally on our brain. The internet has significantly influenced the way people think and even how they perform(Huffington 2013).

Originality in Thinking and the Use of Internet

Even with the believe that people are becoming intelligent on a daily basis through the use of the internet, one thing remains outstanding, and that is the fact that people are becoming less original, less attentive or sometimes not attentive at all(Pathak 2014). The internet has equally promoted the lack of ability of the people to comprehend and even retain information that they use. As already heard from Johnson that the internet increases our intelligence level, there are those who are not in agreement with him that the internet makes people smarter. There are those who believe that the use of intelligence and smart though commonly used interchangeable, does not mean the same thing. Being smart is usually used to refer to learned application and inferences, which in no way predominantly a status that is earned(Julie 2010). When one learn and even study, what is achieved is smartness in the study area and this is properly explained by Mark Lowenthal article known as Smart vs. Intelligence (Dunbar 2012). According to Mark, major difference that exists between intelligence and smart is what is known as learned interferences and how such are applied. For one t become smart, one thing that has to be done is being able to work hard by putting more effort when learning (Small, Moody, Siddarth & Bookheimer 2009). To become smart, there has to be an element of critical thinking, studying, and learning materials and even making inferences. It should be noted that the effort being put must be done from the time of birth to the time of death. In contrary, being intelligence has been found to be an innate, very inherent and can never be changed from the point one is born. What intelligence means is the ability of one to have the capability to learn. Linking this to the internet, the internet can be seen to have the greater role in making human beings intelligent but as it would be to the past generation, people’s intelligence is growing even dimmer (Pathak 2014).

Conclusion

There are several ways in which internet can be seen to have improved the way of life in various sectors. The same way the Internet has significantly revolutionaries communication sector among other seconds, the same way it has changed the way people think. The internet has some ways through which it has influenced people’s thinking positively, and there are ways through which internet has negatively changed the way of thinking. The internet has interfered with the thinking of human beings and currently very few people would be asked a thing and tells it off without whipping out their smart phones for the answer. People have difficulties memorizing information because there know it will be readily available in the internet. There are those who believe through internet people have become even more intelligent, which to some extent is true. Either way, one thing that is universally agreed with is the fact that the internet has significantly changed the way people think.

Reference List

Brockman, J 2011, “How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?” The net’s impact on our minds and future. Atlantic Books Ltd.

Brockman, J 2011, “How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? The net’s impact on our minds and future,” Atlantic Books Ltd.

Doug Johnstone 2012, “How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?” INDEPENDENT,
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/how-is-the-internet-changing-the-way-you-think-edited-by-john-brockman-6774178.html

Dunbar, R I M 2012, “Social cognition on the Internet: testing constraints on social network size,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 367(1599), 2192-2201.

Huffington. 2013, “This is How the Internet is Rewiring your Brain,” Huffington. Retrieved on 01/11/2015 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/shocking-ways-internet-rewires-brain_n_4136942.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in

John Harris 2010, “How the internet is altering your mind,” The Guardian, retrieved on 01/11/2015 from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/aug/20/internet-altering-your-mind

John Naughton 2010, «The internet: is it changing the way we think?»
The Guardian, Retrieved on 01/11/2015 from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/aug/15/internet-brain-neuroscience-debate

Julie Coiro 2010, How Does the Internet Impact Our Thinking about Effective Literacy Assessment?

Ojel Pathak 2014, How does the internet affect our thinking? Retrieved on 01/11/2015 from https://prezi.com/ckx4zhvsjh_g/how-does-the-internet-affect-our-thinking/

Small, GW, T D Moody, P Siddarth, and SY Bookheimer 2009 “Your Brain on Google: Patterns of Cerebral Activation During Internet Searching” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry: Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 17.2: 116-126. Print.