The Brain and the Internet

There have been a few news and magazine articles recently about how the internet may be changing how we think, affecting our focus, even re-wiring our brains. I got wondering about this, and an older article about Asperger’s syndrome and the Autism spectrum, and it ended up as a longer essay. Below is an excerpt, the rest of it is here, in the Thoughts section of the site.

Bill Thompson’s article for BBC News, Changing the way we think, referenced an article by Nick Carr in Atlantic Monthly, Is Google making us stupid? Carr says he has lost some of his deep focus ability and wonders if the internet is to blame, definitely an article worth reading. Another BBC News article Is computer use changing children? includes quotes from neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield, who wonders if the rise of attention deficit disorder diagnoses is related to how children are exposed to instant access media through the internet.

I’d like to know what you think of it. Has your brain been re-wired lately?

One thought on “The Brain and the Internet”

  1. Have you read “High Tech Heretic” by Clifford Stoll? It goes off into hyperbole in places but is an interesting view of how the increase in computers in schools has negatively affected attention span and learning ability. Certainly when it comes to reading something on a computer screen I have a much lower attention span than reading a book, but that may be comfort-related too.

    One thing instant communication has done (IM, SMS, chat rooms) is to reduce the ability of people to spell correctly and to use correct grammar. I get very fed up with reading things where …LOL………..LoL…… is seen as punctuation.

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