The internet seems to be prevalent in almost everyone’s life as it has opened doors for several people. It is one of the most used means of entertainment due to how many people are constantly on their phone. Although this does affect many people, a majority of those are young adults and children. If you were to ask someone that is older they might not know much about the internet, but if you were to ask a fifteen year old they could tell you the most minimal detail. The use of internet may be very beneficial for many but for others it is just corroding their lives due to their choice on how they are using it.
More and more people seem to be addicted to the internet while others use it to their full advantage. At this point, it all depends on the type of person using this technology and how they are using. The internet affects how people think in a negative way due to how it’s effects have caused individuals to become more reliant on it and diminished one’s ability to socialize. Today in society it is really is to just set a reminder on your phone and have remind you when you have to do something. You can also use the internet to answer your questions on anything you may be questioning.
Authors, Daniel M. Wegner and Adrian F. Ward, have written an article called, “How Google Is Changing Your Brain,” which focuses on how the internet affects the way humans think and memorize things. The authors bring up a point on how everything, before the internet became big, was shared in something called “the cloud”. The cloud was really just a circle of people who would distribute information they already knew to someone else who didn’t. Today all anyone really does is search something up on the internet and that’s it, no sort of communication with anyone around them.
Authors Wegner and Ward state how, “One recent experiment from our group demonstrated the extent to which the Internet is beginning to replace a friend or family member as a companion in sharing the daily tasks of remembering” (Wagner, Ward). Before we all had the internet we had something called a “transactive memory”, which was the human’s way of distributing information in a world of face-to-face interaction, where the human mind was the most important part in storing information. With all this information it is very apparent that technology has changed us in a way. Before the internet nobody had any means of having a phone to remind them of when they had something to do or where they had to be, all one could do was remember.
It seemed easier to recall things that were important but now that we have devices to remind us we do not feel as responsible for these things. This takes away from us because back then everyone seemed to be more efficient but now someone cannot remember something without putting it in their reminders or setting an alarm for it. In every major assignment or even small ones for school, we rely on the internet. Since we rely greatly on the internet we want it to do all the work for us such as finding topics to write about, solving math questions, or even answering that question a student had difficulty in psychology class. The question from this particular article seems to be if Google is making us stupid due to how quick we are to say “just Google it.” In Nicholas Carr’s article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” He talks about how the internet has corrupted our mind and that we all just seem lazier in the aspect of how we do our work. Carr reflects on how when he just simply wants to read a book or any type of selection he always seems to find himself losing track of where he was after about two to three pages, getting fidgety, or just finding something different to do. Something that was very easy for the writer to do once upon a time has become a struggle.
This is due to the fact that everything is so much easier online. In that case of struggling to read such article or book could be easily solved by people resorting to the summary of the book online. Carr states, “Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the internet has altered his mental abilities” (Carr).
This goes to show the ability the internet has to diminish our ability to even reading a lengthy article. He speaks on how even reading a blog that is about three to four paragraphs is too much to absorb and that he would rather just skim it. The internet seems to have diminished our abilities to read simple articles or blogs due to how lazy it has made us become. My take on this is that a lot of people expect to have all the work done for them. In this case people resort to Google to figure out their simple question when they could look around in their book to find the answer where it is supposed to come from. The future impacts that could come from this effect of the internet could be that we all might just abandon things that are right here in front of us such as books, newspapers, or magazines.
Reading on the internet is not all that easy and it is much easier to absorb the information from a paper copy by actually being able to annotate and write notes down as opposed to reading an article on a phone or computer and then just putting away not knowing if one actually retained the information or not. Before the internet became big, it was stationary, you could not really take it anywhere with you and that was all the more simple. You did not have to worry about wireless internet signal or weak signals. Today, you can do anything with the touch of a finger. In Laura Sanders article, “Digital Minds,” she explains how there are scientists that suspect that our mini “addiction” to technology that influences our brains. Studies are finding that these devices could potentially change the way we think about or remember things in our everyday lives. Although it has not been proven, these laboratory studies are hinting at the fact that technology is changing our thinking strategies. Psychhologist Benjamin Storm conducted an experiment with sixy college undergraduate students and gave them a mix of trivia questions where half could use technology to answer questions and the other half could not.
This experiment showed that the students who were able to search for the answer to the questions had more of a reliance of using technology to answer more simple questions. Storm states, “The scope of the amount of information we have at our fingertips is beyond anything we’ve ever experienced. The temptation to become really reliant on it seems to be greater” (Sanders). I think that one’s reliance to the internet is something very significant to make such a great impact on our memory and learning capacity. If it is so easy for someone to jump to the internet and research a question then why would one bother to remember these things? The internet has made most of us lazy in a way where we do not strive to learn things or even retain them, we simply just look up these questions, find the answer, and never think about it again. Before the heavy reliance on the internet become something widely shared by many people, there was a different way of everyone finding their way from place to place. This article mentions how we rely on the internet to get us from place to place. Before GPS was something widely used, everyone had to plan out their trips beforehand on a map or check a map to see where they would be travelling.
Now that it is so easy to pull out your smartphone a majority of people have forgot how to find their way around without the help of a GPS. Cognitive neuroscientist Véronique Bohbot says, “Our navigational skills may be at risk as we shift to neurologically easier ways to find our way.” There is such a heavy reliance towards having our smartphones find the way we’re going that we have forgotten how to do this mentally. The addiction towards technologies is what drives families apart at times.
In the article, “When My Kids Unplugged,” Susan Maushart explains how she banned social networking from her home. This actually went on for a whole 6 months. “At ages fourteen, fifteen and eighteen, my daughters and my son don’t use media. They inhabit media.” Maushart explains how she unplugged all three of her kids from social media and technology itself. The eighteen and fifteen year old kids took this opportunity to go out and spend more time with friends as opposed to talking to them over text. The fifteen year old boy, Bill, took this exile from the internet as a chance to pick up his old music instrument that he had not used in years. The more time he spent with other friends, that were also interested in music, he began to gain interest in it again.
This would not have happened if this expulsion from the internet had not occurred. The eighteen year old, Anni, simply took this as a time to go out and spend more time with friends. The one whose internet consumption remained unchanged is the youngest, Sussy.
This was due to how she was one of the only friends that lived in area so she spent most of her time on the landline phone. The idea to make a family stronger is to take away what could drive them apart. I think that this idea of the mother restraining all of her kids from using the internet was a wonderful idea.
She opened them up to the world that existed before the internet. She taught them that there is more to life than just scrolling through pages on your phone. There should be more parents that restrict their kids usage of internet a bit to show them that there is more to life than technology. This way more kids can get more in touch with their friends and actually learn more things about them because it is harder to genuinely communicate through a text message. Towards the end of the essay Maushart states, “Many people have asked me if there was ever a moment during the electronic media blackout when I was tempted to quit. Not counting April 25, the day I received a phone bill for $1,123.
26, I can honestly say, no. Not at all” (Maushart 100). This proves how important it was to the writer that her children get a real feel for the world.
I also believe that speaking to someone over the phone is definitely a step up from texting. Calling someone gives you more of an understanding of what they are talking about as opposed to trying to figure out if the other person you are texting is serious or just joking.Anger management specialist states how, “Having had a few months to reflect on writing this article I came to realise that I don’t think the internet stole just my children, but it also stole most of my good friends as well” (Fisher). From the article called “The internet stole my children” author Mike Fisher states this at the beginning of the essay which I think would speak to many readers because it shows directly how much the internet has affected his life in such a simple way.
Fisher is an anger management specialist, so he looks at this internet addiction problem in a completely different way. He believes that internet addiction can have many mental effects on such as feelings of guilt, anxiety, and denial. He also mentions how those addicted to their devices can lose track of time very easily because they do not sense that this is taking up much of their time. At times too, they simply do not want to think about their responsibilities and would rather dive into the world of the internet to forget about their problems. He also talks about the short term and long term effects of online addiction.
Short term effects are as simple as having unfinished tasks or forgotten responsibilities. Long term effects such as weight gain, backaches, and neck pain are more serious. These effects can lead to physical damage and sometimes you may not be able to go back to your original state. I agree that the internet does not only affect us mentally but physically as well. These physical problems could be long lasting and sometimes even permanent. Another effect to online addiction is carpal tunnel syndrome which is also a physical and does not go away. This is a very important example as to how an addiction as simple as online addiction could have everlasting effects on us. In conclusion, the internet affects the way people think in a negative way due to how it has caused individuals to become more reliant on it and diminished one’s ability to socialize.
All 5 of the articles listed above give many examples of how the internet affects us differently. The first 2 articles relate to Google. I believe with the authors point of view because they explain how Google has basically made us more reliant as many of us use it for almost anything we can think of. This affects us negatively because we are not as responsible as we were at some point. Research used to require a lot of reading and hours flipping through pages counted as research.
What a lot of people do now is simply Google a summary, sort of skim through it, and be done. The third article has more evidence of research that has been conducted by scientists and it studies hint to how it is has changed how many of us think. This research has convinced me that the internet has definitely changed us and it has done so without many of us even realizing. The final two essays have to do with parents who have written about what it is like when children have been unplugged and what effects it has made on them before and after. As these two articles come from more of a personal point of view it helps the reader understand it more.
All of these articles have a common purpose, and it is to inform everyone on how the internet could have several negative effects without many people even realizing it.