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In his article-‘Does the internet make you dumber by Nicholas Carr, the author of the book “The Shallows-What the internet is doing to our Brains??”has raised his concerns over the voluminous growth in use of internet and its negative impact on our thoughts, from the perspective of a healthy human mind. He has cited several references to research studies conducted at various levels. These researches have shown that the internet when compared with printed book scatters our attention whereas the book focuses on it.
The author has drawn reference from Patricia Greenfield’s (a leading development psychologist ,who has reviewed studies on the impact of media technology on our cognitive capabilities) article about how playing video games can increase visual literacy skills, but eventually results in less rigorous and more automotive thinking due to the rapid shift in thinking ,which is quite alarming. Similarly another cited example is the test result of students showing poor performance in tests conducted after the lecture with permission to browse, when compared to the other half of the class restricted from browsing. These all shows internet is in fact reducing the retention capacity of brains whereas print media accentuates contemplation, reflection and introspection. Contrary to our beliefs another research conducted at Stanford University’s Communication has shown media multi-taskers to be poor at multitasking when compared with infrequent multi-taskers. The reason reported for the failure was that they are distracted by each and everything.
Our thoughts which come out from strong and expansive neural networks are in fact disturbed by the internet media due to its rapid nature, converting human beings into shallow thinker’s .The author has thrown light on the normal misperception of how computer helps in faster learning. It is at the expense of new weaknesses affecting strengths including vocabulary, mindfulness, imagination and critical thinking.
Again the author has thrown light over another misconception which is quite popular i.e., our thought process will be fine once we cut off ourselves from internet and mobile. The cellular alteration due to each new technology strengthens some of the neural connections while weakening the others, but continues to shape our thoughts even after we stop using them. This is further confirmed from the beliefs of a pioneering neuroscientist Michael Merzenich quoted by the author as ‘our minds are massively remodeled by the use of web related technology’. The author has raised alarming insight into the fact that human brain is losing one valuable quality called mental discipline through web browsing and surfing, which takes several years to build up.