How the internet is changing who you are

I think therefore I am.  How the internet and new technology is changing how you think.

Technology is changing our behaviour.   We all know that.   But by how much?  I am reading a great book at the moment by Nicholas Carr called the The Shallows and How the Internet is changing the way, we read, think and remember.

He talks about how, through the use of the Internet (and other technologies) we have learned to skim, scroll and consume information in small swiftly moving stream of participles and no longer do we have patience for long drawn out arguments.

On the flip side, he argues we now have quick access to lots of info, searches and filters and the ability to share opinions with specialised audiences.  

As he points out, it is probably more valuable quickly skimming 25 articles about a subject rather than reading in depth 1 book of 250 pages on the same thing.    He says the internet can make us smarter.

But it also makes us less calm and less focused then we used to be, as we now (especially with advent of SMART phones) are continuously hooked up on-line waiting for next email or next update of information. 

This new type of behaviour, like any learned or repeated behaviour, changes the way the brain works and has led to reprogramming of neural connections.  It changes the way we perceive and think about information.

Carr says ‘he misses his old brain’.   But the news isn’t all bad. 

Neural programming works both ways.  We can through mental activity rebuild skills we’ve lost.   Also by making the effort to establish good habits like those listed in Tom Basson’s 16 Tips to Simplify Your Life blog. Such as;

  1. Tip Nbr 1 – Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.

It’s about balance. I think.

Thanks Jim‘s Computer Store for sending on video..


4 thoughts on “How the internet is changing who you are

  1. Thanks for your comment and I’m definately with you there about smart phones. Even with the best intentions must be difficult not to let them rule your life! But I think Santa may be bringing me one this Christmas…

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