In many sources, including the World Wide Web itself, information began to appear that the harm of the Internet really exists. Many in childhood were warned against sitting behind the screen for a long time, justifying this with visual impairment. For earlier generations, the TV screen was meant, then computer monitors and smartphone displays changed it. A new pooled study by scientists in Australia, the United States and Europe says visual impairment due to internet abuse is just the tip of the iceberg. In their opinion, spending a long time on the Internet negatively affects the brain and memory.
Scientists at Oxford and Harvard Universities, King's College London and the University of Western Sydney concluded that active Internet users over time face memory problems and impaired concentration. The joint work of scientists was based on the analysis of many studies on how the benefits and harms of the Internet affect the mental abilities and mental state of a person.
Scientists have found that frequent use of the worldwide network rebuilds the brain. To prove this, the researchers conducted an experiment in which hundreds of volunteers from different countries participated. They were given intellectual tasks, and in the process of solving the brain scan of the participants. The results of the experiment are published in World Psychiatry.
The researchers said that the Internet, whose health harm largely depends on its abuse by the users themselves, is mainly associated with impaired brain activity. Psychologists explained that frequent web surfing, checking notifications and social media messages leads to scattering of attention, and this makes it difficult for a person to focus on one task. According to scientists, Internet users, who often switch from one online task to another, face difficulties in the real world - when they need to put more effort into a single task, it is difficult for them to focus on it.
Another consequence of frequent network use is that the Internet turns off memory, becoming its "external replacement". Users increasingly rely on their phone to find any information. Instead of memorizing important information, the brain records a place in its memory where it can be found quickly. For example, in the study, the participants searched for information on the Internet and paper sources. The former found the necessary data faster, but remembered it poorly, the latter, on the contrary: they searched slower, but they absorbed the information better.
Researchers were able to explain why people who can find any information of interest in their smartphone through Google, Wikipedia and other sources are subject to changes in the brain's work in remembering any data. The fact is that the brain is one of the organs that consumes the most resources. Through evolution, the brain has gradually been programmed not to consume excess energy unnecessarily. Therefore, when any information is in a few clicks, the brain will not try to remember it reliably. The user's desire and willpower do not play an important role here, because they are a product of the brain, therefore they are controlled by it.
Currently, a person lives in an environment of information overload, which distinguishes him from previous generations who grew up in different conditions. Therefore, while scientists can not even imagine how the world wide web will globally affect the next generations of mankind. In addition, psychologists have warned that the harm of the Internet lies in deception. Regular netizens are beginning to better assess their mental abilities as the boundaries between actual knowledge and what a person can easily find on the Internet are blurring.
The Topic of Article: Scientists have finally figured out how the Internet affects the brain.