How the Internet is Changing Our Thinking

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September 21, 2010 – When the Internet first became a mainstay in our lives, many people feared it was changing the way our society works for the worse. Educators complained students were becoming unable to perform research in physical books and relied too heavily on Wikipedia articles as credible sources. Psychologists warned that the personal relationships that foster healthy behavior were being watered down by emails and instant messages.


How has our thought process changed with technology?

But with all the arguments on how bad the Internet can be, a lot of good has come from it. We’ve made increases in communication, information, and learning, as well as business and marketing.Through the battle of good ‘net vs. bad ‘net there’s a new question coming up lately: is the Internet changing the way we think?

Before our society became Internet-saturated, when posed with a trivia question we couldn’t answer one had to wait until they were somewhere like a library to look up the answer. Today, the second we don’t know something, a smartphone pops out and we “Google” the answer in 2 seconds. Instant gratification.

The Internet has changed the way many of us handle multitasking as well. As I write this blog I’m referencing a CNN article, monitoring my Facebook feed, watching the Daily Woot deal (because it’s a Woot-off day), and listening to my iPod. Especially with multi-tab browsing, Internet users can have multiple websites open at once, each serving a completely different purpose.

For many of us, our brains have had to adapt to this sudden ability to have multiple unrelated tasks going on at once.
For some, this has led to the frustration of sending the wrong email to the wrong person, or accidentally adding a zero to a 1-item order and charging 10 copies of the latest Lady GaGa CD to their credit card. Others have no problem trading their shares on eTrade, looking up the scores of last night’s football game, sending an email to a client, and playing a game of Scrabble on Facebook.

Analysts are wondering how this need to multitask while on the Internet is really changing how we think and adapt to the Internet life. There’s a fear that the tendency to wander off on a Wikipedia breadcrumb trail is causing our brains to become distracted more easily with the vast amount of information and entertainment the Internet has to offer.

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Oh, and happy International Day of Peace !