Would it occur as surprising to anyone that modern technology is not without an influence on our health? Especially the Internet. Being constantly online changes our brains, and not as slowly as we might think. The difference between even the two consequent generations is visible, and for some, alarming. How did the global network change the way we think and operate?
Social media – harmless entertainment?
The majority of time spent online is somewhat wasted on scrolling through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more recently TikTok, are extremely time-consuming. They undoubtedly have numerous advantages for many, bring profit, or are a useful marketing tool. Still, for ordinary users, they are just entertainment. As such, social media influence and change human behaviors and even ways of thinking.
Let’s dwell more on the subject of the changed thinking. Social media are a source of the constant, never-stopping flow of information. Pictures, news, slogans, advertisements, short texts – all of these appear in dozens before our eyes every day. No one has the time to stop and contemplate each piece of information separately. As a result, the human brain needed to adapt. The way it acquires, processes and remembers new bits of information has changed. The best example is how we read. Skimming is now a normal way of reading a text, and rarely does someone really focus on every detail of the content. This so-called digital way of reading is a threat to our present-day brain. The ability to process and remember complicated data, analyze and reason, think in perspective, and even feel sympathy is an outcome of evolution as well as of the capability to read long passages.
Social media developed a new way of reading – a quick skimming. As a result, the brain is less capable of focusing on long passages and of keeping up all the capabilities mentioned above. For younger generations, the threat of a critical change in the way their brain operates is even greater. Toddlers now are pacified with online entertainment, so the Internet shapes their minds from the very beginning.
Skimming instead of detailed reading also leads to an increase in impatience and difficulty with focusing on one task for a long period of time. Children at school are now more distracted than ever, as their brains expect constant change of stimuli.
I used to remember that …
Search engines like Google are a great tool, and they certainly facilitate our everyday lives. Anything you need to know, a place you need to find, or the shoes you want to buy – everything is within reach of your keyboard. As everything, though, it has a price. In this case, it is the capability of your brain to remember. Why do you need to learn all those facts in a history lesson when you can Google them? When counting, use a smartphone. Your memory is actually less and less useful for you, or so it might seem. The explanation of how the Internet changes our brain and its ability to remember is quite interesting, and it might surprise you what capacities you may lose in the future.
Among other effects of being constantly online are social isolation and even an addiction. This means that young people, who spend most of their time online, are separating themselves from their peers, are unable to maintain meaningful relationships and create bonds with other people.
It’s all for people
Scientists and neurologists are still discovering the effects of technological development on our brains, and we are still yet to know whether it is a real threat. The fact that it does influence our brain does not mean that we cannot make use of the Internet. There are various ways of entertainment, besides social media, like streaming platforms or safe online slots available for everyone, . Everyone can have fun, win money, or spend some time online on sites like Asiabet, where next to a list of options are meticulous explanations of games and rules.
Our brains will be changing with or without the Internet as we develop and transform the world around us for thousands of years now. The online network makes the changes faster and more interfering with our minds than the issues humanity dealt with before. Is it a real threat? We will probably see for ourselves.
Is the Internet changing your brain? is a feature post