Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is the Internet Dumbing Us Down?

How the Internet is Affecting Our Brains?

Is the Internet affecting our power to concentrate? In this video, Nicholas Carr, author of the book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, offers some insights based on his research. Check out the video, and don't get distracted. Leave some comments. Do you think the Internet is affecting our brains? Are we losing the power to concentrate? Should we tune out for a few days?


Jenn D. said...

Would like to read the book. Wonder if sufficient research has been done to support how using the Internet will affect our brain and how we process information. How is frequent use of sites like Twitter and Facebook affecting reading and writing skills? These are questions parents and educators need to consider.

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Chuck said...

After watching the video, it made me think of my own experiences with technology at school and back in the business world. With new technology, brings more work onto your plate. We are now able to work faster and perform more tasks per hour than ever before. There is no longer the "cool down" time. I remember growing up before cell phones and my dad would need to check his business voicemail from a pay phone when we were on vacation. If he had a cellphone or laptop 20 years ago on vacation, I would have probably missed out on my dad being there on vacation.

Now, we can use the internet anywhere and it is providing good, but also bad affects. The question is, is there more good than bad. Smartphones such as the Iphone or Android phones give you access to everything you need...including the stress that comes with the notifications of bill emails, school emails, etc. Once we are use to this technology, I'm not sure we can downgrade or go back to what we were use to. You don't see anyone trading in their cellphone for a pager. I doubt I can live without my Android phone now because I am use to the innovations and access to my emails and internet, but isn't that what my computer is for, not my phone?

I find myself wasting hours weekly of just wasting time on my phone surfing or prior to going to sleep, checking news articles or feeds. This is time that is not well spent.

The author of the book discussed that we are losing our ability to slow down and it is shifting the way we think. This is also causing physical changes in our brains as well. With so many different forms of media, it is hard to stay in one place and relax. As I can only listen to one radio station for a max of 2 minutes before changing the station, the same is true for internet browsing.

With the "threat" of e-readers, will there be too much temptation to cruise the net while reading? Luckily, I would be too afraid to bring an Ipad to the beach with all that sand and water, so I may get to enjoy a book and just concentrate on that to relax.

Tim said...

I think that the internet is a great tool to use, but I agree that is at times an overused, easier option than getting information through books, or other writen material. In today's school students are very distracted, always looking for the next stimulation which they are not able to get though reading books. Today's students are more apt to watch a movie, instead of reading a book. So I do believe that to some extent the internet is dumbing down today's students.