Various Psychological effects of Internet using

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					Psychological effects of Internet use




Various researchers have undertaken efforts to examine the impact of Internet use on humans, inter alia
through studying brain functions in Internet users. Some studies assert that these changes are harmful,
while others argue that asserted changes are beneficial

Assertions
US-American writer Nicholas Carr asserts that Internet use reduces the deep thinking that leads to true
creativity. He also says that hyperlinks and overstimulation means that the brain must give most of its
attention to short-term decisions. Carr also states that the vast availability of information on the World
Wide Web overwhelms the brain and hurts long-term memory. He says that the availability of stimuli
leads to a very large cognitive load, which makes it difficult to remember anything.

Psychologist Steven Pinker, however, argues that people have control over what they do, and that
research and reasoning never came naturally to people. He says that, "Experience does not revamp the
basic information-processing capacities of the brain" and asserts that the Internet is actually making
people smarter.

Paul Bansal[who?] says that "Internet addiction can be a significant threat to one's health and social well-
being in that it enforces antisocial behavior. The addiction can lead to the inability to communicate in the
real world by depriving the addict of the daily practices involved with interpersonal communication. The
act of using facial expressions or certain gestures to relay intended emotion or emphasize meaning decline
as the addict substitutes keystrokes resembling smiley faces, or avatars. Socially, subjects become more
                                                   inclined to develop personality disorders in which they
                                                   identify more with their Internet representation than
                                                   their real-life persona. Ultimately, an addiction to the
                                                   Internet can cripple one's ability to maintain a healthy
                                                   social life.

                                                   MRI studies
                                                  UCLA professor of psychiatry Gary Small studied brain
                                                  activity in experienced web surfers versus casual web
                                                  surfers. He used MRI scans on both groups to evaluate
                                                  brain activity. The study showed that when Internet
                                                  surfing, the brain activity of the experienced Internet
                                                  users was far more extensive than that of the novices,
                                                  particularly in areas of the prefrontal cortex associated
                                                  with problem-solving and decision making. However,
                                                  the two groups had no significant differences in brain
                                                  activity when reading blocks of text. This evidence
                                                  suggested that the distinctive neural pathways of
                                                  experienced Web users had developed because of their
                                                  Web use. Dr. Small concluded that “The current
explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way we live and communicate, but is rapidly and
profoundly altering our brains.




Effect on traditional reading
Nicholas Carr experientially asserts that using the Internet can lead to lower attention span and make it
more difficult to read in the traditional sense (that is, read a book at length without mental interruptions).
He says that he and his friends have found it more difficult to concentrate and read whole books, even
though they read a great deal when they were younger (that is, when they did not have access to the
Internet).[6] This assertion is based on anecdotal evidence, not controlled research. Researchers from the
University College London have done a 5-year study on Internet habits, and have found that people using
the sites exhibited “a form of skimming activity,” hopping from one source to another and rarely
returning to any source they’d already visited. The report says, "It is clear that users are not reading online
in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power
browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems
that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Brain power
Research suggests that using the Internet helps boost brain power for middle-aged and older people
(research on younger people has not been done.) The study compares brain activity when the subjects
                                                                               were reading and when
                                                                               the subjects were
                                                                               surfing the Internet. It
                                                                               found that Internet
                                                                               surfing uses much more
                                                                               brain activity than
                                                                               reading does. Lead
                                                                               researcher Professor
                                                                               Gary Small said: "The
                                                                               study results are
                                                                               encouraging, that
                                                                               emerging computerized
                                                                               technologies may have
                                                                               physiological effects
                                                                               and potential benefits
                                                                               for middle-aged and
                                                                               older adults. Internet
searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function.

Effects of social networking and behaviour


Evgeny Morozov has said that social networking could be potentially harmful to people. He writes that
they can destroy privacy, and notes that "Insurance companies have accessed their patients’ Facebook
accounts to try to disprove they have hard-to-verify health problems like depression; employers have
checked social networking sites to vet future employees; university authorities have searched the web for
photos of their students’ drinking or smoking pot." He also said that the Internet also makes people more
complacent and risk averse. He said that because much of the ubiquity of modern technology—cameras,
recorders, and such—people may not want to act in unusual ways for fear of getting a bad name. People
can see pictures and videos of you on the Internet, and this may make you act differently

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Psychological effects of Internet use Various researchers have undertaken efforts to examine the impact of Internet use on humans, inter alia through studying brain functions in Internet users. Some studies assert that these changes are harmful, while others argue that asserted changes are beneficial. Research suggests that using the Internet helps boost brain power for middle-aged and older people (research on younger people has not been done.) The study compares brain activity when the subjects were reading and when the subjects were surfing the Internet. It found that Internet surfing uses much more brain activity than reading does.