Tiff Fremont
by on November 28, 2019
Modern society has entered a new period of the global civilization’s development where information and technology run parallel flows. It is difficult to imagine the life of a modern man without technology intellectual artifacts. These artifacts are associated with the emergence of a wide scale of new methods and forms of activity, transformation of society, computer technology and global worldwide network. At first glance, they provide an opportunity to make human lives easier, more comfortable, in a sense, bring dignity promoting economic prosperity and the progress of science. However, a number of researchers see primarily destructive aspect talking about Internet use.
In particular, a person who regularly serfs the web becomes alienated, there is a gap of perfectly given information and own thinking from basic, natural, ontological foundations of life. There is a well-known fact that the tools to counter such phenomena as the possibility of a global surveillance or the use of social networks for the inspiration of population unrest do not necessarily imply a universal rejection of the computer technology. Despite, the problem of changing the way the human mind operates while ‘googling’ has not even been accepted in the scientific community estimates. With the advent of computers and the Internet appeared a new medium that is a versatile, interactive and informative, which declared itself as an instrument of influence on society. Current level of exchanging the information, its transparency and accessibility to all users of the Internet has a unique opportunity to generate information flows. Thus, these and several other well-known facts were the prerequisite for the development of the so-called information society.
Representatives of special sciences provide a range of results, indicating the presence of the above-mentioned web influence on thinking. Therefore, the specialized Science journal first published study results of a group of American neurophysiologists. They came to the following conclusion: the habit of extensive use of the Internet is gradually leading to the deterioration of human abilities to think logically, and even store information. To suggest this conclusion, scientists analyzed the brain activity data of active Internet users in the network while those were online. They noted that at this time people had only two areas of the brain active: the one that is responsible for short-term memory, and one that is responsible for making quick decisions. Moreover, deep areas of the brain that are responsible for the analysis and logic were not involved at all. Thus, a person who is an avid user of the Internet quickly learns skills for permanent and relevant search of pages. However, while doing this, one’s intellectual activity is losing depth and thoughtfulness. In other words, delegating the solution of the problems of the network, a person becomes more impulsive and gradually loses the ability to think deeply.
The above-mentioned results are in line with the views of representatives of the other scientific school. British psychologists who were involved with a similar problem have come to similar conclusions. Briefly, they can be formulated as follows: long-term and active stay in the network affects a person in the way that one gradually loses his/her ability of the systematic and deep thinking with further possible depression (BBC). This is due to the fact that deep areas of the brain which conduct in-depth analysis of the fundamental issues related to all aspects of life and activities do not receive the necessary impetus, thus, reducing intensity of their functioning.
Further on, “digital natives” is a possible popular-to-be metaphor used by neurologists to people who are active users of the computer network. The author of this metaphor is Gary Small, a neuroscientist, professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, a leading expert in the field of aging and healthy functioning of the brain at the Centre on Aging at the University of California. Small stated that in a decade not only behavior varies in active users but also the way of thinking, and most importantly, the brain. As a rule, digital natives spend 12 hours a day sitting in front of the monitor. They can do several things at once, such as write on blogs, chat in social networks, run from one hyperlink to another, answer emails, read news, listen to music, watch videos which are not detailed in full screen.
Small, in his book, 'I-Brain: How to survive the technological changes in the modern mind', writes: the Internet reduces the ability to concentrate and contemplate, over time the brain starts to expect the flow of information in the form in which the network distributes it - a rapid stream of particles. Thus, thinking becomes fragmentary. Users only diagonally browse headlines and summaries. Moreover, those, over time, turn into simple ‘decryptors of information’, where the brain areas responsible for abstract thinking and empathy are almost atrophied.
Internet addiction is another destructive aspect of cyber culture. The number of Internet-dependent people suffering from attention deficit disorder only grows. Yet the main concern is the predisposition of active users to perform multiple actions in cyberspace at the same time. Continuous scanning of one more next piece of information causes excessive stress that could damage neural connections in the brain. This view is also confirmed by the study of Chinese physicians, who argued that Internet addiction influences the nerve fibers at areas of the brain which are responsible for the detailed analysis and deep thinking. To sum up, active Internet users are likely to turn nervous, incapable of deep intellectual activity. The first generation of ‘digital world’ suffers from it. Exactly digital world forms thinking of a 'virtual generation’ being based on the total detachment from the surrounding non-virtual reality.
In this context, there is a phrase - ‘fragmentary thinking’ and ‘fragmentary consciousness' that for the period of its existence gradually accented acquired a negative connotation, first, it refers to the fragmentary thinking of the younger generation. Fragmentary thinking is disastrous, because teenagers and young people read in fits and starts, listen to music in the car, receive text messages in the form of short pulses by focusing not on ideas, but on the individual images and momentary flashes. The negative sides of fragmentary thinking are reflected in the fact that modern world forms the shape of a mosaic of little interconnected or absolutely not connected facts or short texts. Over the last years or decades the rate of exchange of information largely improved and increased, a global computerization of the entire population gave the user an assurance that any complex task can be solved with the least amount of effort and time. However, fragmentary thinking, implying simplification, takes off the entire depth of the study, the development of the material. This directs the human mind to an easy method of producing and retrieving any information.
Thus, extensive internet craze reflects the state of the human brain. On the one hand, the Internet promotes the development of the ability to make quick decisions and improves short-term memory, however, on the other hand, it disaccustoms user to delve deeply into the issue. “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” - says Nicholas Carr in his rather provocative “Is Google making us stupid?” in The Atlantic Magazine.
Today, the world wide web is not only a new technology that does not have spatial boundaries and time frames. It is also a new information space, the second virtual life. It can be argued that the Internet is not just a technical means, but that it also acts as a socially new phenomenon, leading to the emergence of qualitatively new forms of life. The Internet influences the changing of the personality and the formation of the individual. In the social and anthropological aspects the Internet controls human thinking, sets the direction and style of thinking, defines further actions transforming the sphere of human activity or alters actions of society.
Thus, human achievements in the field of information technologies have given birth to a new mental paradigm. Virtual reality technologies change the contents of time and space as the basic metrics of common sense. Network suggests free will or choice. Fragmentary thinking gives a person the opportunity of free access to the enormous amounts of information. However, at the same time, the reverse side of such increased abilities is that every year the worldwide web increasingly influences people. Internet turns users into a scattered and careless, nervous consumers, affecting the processes arising in their minds by changing the conceptual framework, the basis of thinking, pushing aside from the surrounding non-virtual reality. Still, each person can prevent the negative impact of it in a simple way. One can achieve it by shifting priorities in favor of the immediate emotional and intellectual communication with family, relatives or close friends in real life, thus, limiting the scope of the virtual world. Finally, the idea that the world of tomorrow will be ruled by the smartest of global population, who live in the Internet reality, but not by the people, who can enjoy the same advantages of Internet technology and a true unique personal contact, is questionable. However, this simple advice is unlikely to reverse the massive, global social trend. The latter should be the subject of further research.
Source: https://primeessays.com/illustration-essay.html
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