The Digital Drivetrain
The automotive world's transition into the age of digital media

Is the Internet Rewiring our Brains, to be Stupid?

Over the past few hundred years the human brain has been conditioned to focus. In the early days of human development seeing new things and being distracted by them was a survival instinct essential to finding new things and discovering important new ways to survive. Then, with the advancement in technology and survival technology, the human brain changed. It was conditioned over many years to focus on one thing and connect multiple ideas to one greater thesis. We read long novels and were forced to focus for long periods of time, which changed the chemistry of our brains to allow for this new habit of focusing for long periods of time.

In class we have been discussing how the internet may be again rewiring our brains, but this time for the worse. The internet is an information overload to our brains. Instead of long pages with footnotes that we will never look into, there are hyperlinks; little blue text just begging to distract the reader. As we read we click these links and dive deeper and deeper into the depths of the internet and soon the purpose of reading the original article is lost and we are complete gone on a tangent. Some anti-technologist groups are arguing that this plethora of information is actually wiring our brains to focus less and actually become more stupid.

I disagree with the naysayers argument on one big issue; who says that we no longer can focus when we have to? I personally know what they anti-internet people are arguing, sure things like facebook and email are distracting, but I can still focus when I need to. I can do both. When I need to work or want to read a long novel, I am able to focus, when I don’t need to focus, I multitask and go deep into the internet. Modern humans now have the ability to multitask but CAN still turn off the distractions and focus. The continual rise in IQ scores shows this and I personally think there is no need to worry about the human species becoming stupid. We should first worry about the obesity and sheer inactivity of our youth before we worry about whether the internet will melt our brains.

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2 Responses to “Is the Internet Rewiring our Brains, to be Stupid?”

  1. agreed. I think the lack of exercise is causing a larger amount of damage than the internet. Especially when considering the fact that nearly 35% of the US is rated as being obese right now.

    I think that the internet may be causing some different kinds of damage- but the lack of ability to focus just seems like the cry from a doomsdayer.

  2. I’m curious about one thing though…We say we’re not affected and can still focus, but we didn’t grow up with the internet as advanced as it is now. Internet in our youth was very different…not as many distractions you know? I wonder what the upcoming generation would say though about being able to focus for long periods of time.


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