There is an ongoing debate about how the internet has made us smarter. Or has it made us dumber?
Technology Changes Moods
Studies have been done and it has come to light that the blue light given off by tech gadgets such as laptops, PC’s and smartphones actually curbs the release of melatonin in the body. This important hormone aids the body in regulating its internal clock and lets the body know when it’s time to wake or time to sleep. This blue light seems to confuse the body and disrupts the sleep schedule. Sleep is very important for the body and loss of sleep can have negative effects such as concentration issues, mood swings and it has been thought that even a loss of brain tissue can result.
Technology is Distracting
Technology is distracting. When people stop doing something to check their phone for messages or social media alerts it can disrupt the flow especially in a work environment. Studies have shown that switching between tasks at the same time is not beneficial and tasks are not performed as they should be. Teenagers are more prone to be distracted and a survey done in 2012 shows that educators are seeing their students becoming more and more distracted because of digital technology. Even when playing real money blackjack, which is a terribly engrossing game, players may be tempted to check their messages or emails.
Difficult to Remember Information
Technology has a way of taking over whatever people are doing. Information goes from working memory to the long-term memory and then gets stored. A break in the memory process such as checking a text or notification while reading or performing a task can actually wipe out information before a transfer happens. A person’s brain can also only store a certain amount of information in their memory bank and taking in too much information each day can result in an overflow of information.
Before the internet and digital technology, it was possible for people to store huge quantities of knowledge, but with the advent of technology it is not necessary and the inclination is also no longer there. People know that their smartphone can store information for them it is really not necessary for them to try and remember it.
Difficult to Read and Retain Information
Reading online is much more difficult for most than reading an actual book. It is more difficult to concentrate and the main reason for this is the hypertext which can be found in most online articles. The links tend to make the brain think more and work much harder. It has also been shown that reading online actually diminishes the understanding of the text. Studies have been done and has shown that when people read linked texts they put strain on their brain and this makes it difficult to retain the information.
It Can Become an Addiction
The term internet addiction has been thrown around and unfortunately it is a very real thing. Spending copious amounts of time on the internet can change things in the brain and it actually looks like the brain of an alcoholic or a drug addict. People who are addicted to the internet often lead unhealthy lifestyles such as not eating properly or not sleeping and this disrupts the areas of the brain that processes emotion and controls decision making. Both alcoholics and drug addicts have very similar brain irregularities. In its most serious form internet addiction can destroy lives.
People should understand that the internet can be a good thing if used responsibly, but can change lives if abused.