The internet is a powerful tool that is changing the way we think and process information. It has brought about a shift in the way we interact with information and technology, and has had a profound impact on our cognitive abilities and brain function.
One of the most notable changes that the internet has brought about is an increase in multitasking. With constant access to information, we are constantly switching between tasks, and this makes us more distractible. This is because our attention has a limited capacity, and the internet is throwing a vast amount of information at us at broadband speed, while our brains are still processing it at dial-up speed. This can make it difficult to focus and concentrate on a single task for an extended period of time.
Another impact of the internet is its addictive nature. A study in 2014 found that 6% of the global population suffers from full-blown internet addiction. This is because the internet has evolved to become very good at triggering the release of dopamine in our brains, which is a very pleasurable chemical. Social media platforms, in particular, can be highly engaging and have been found to release dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a key node in the reward system. This can make it difficult to disconnect from the internet, once we are online.
The internet is also changing the way we use our memory. With access to information at all times, we don’t need to remember the information itself, but only where we can find it. This shift towards using the internet as a primary source of information is changing the way we think and process information. It’s like a Swiss army knife of new brain features, which we use to augment our cognitive abilities.
The internet is also changing the way we use certain parts of the brain. Research has shown that the internet activates certain brain regions more than others, leading to changes in the brain’s structure and function. It’s like a tool that has evolved to become an extension of our minds, much like how we treat physical tools as extensions of our bodies.
It’s important to note that the internet is not the first tool to change the way we think and process information