Searching the Internet Affects our Intelligence

CALIFORNIA - USA - Searching the internet for answers to questions and knowledge can adversely affect the brain's ability to retain memory.

brain search

Internet Live Starts, one of the most reliable online platforms, indicates that more than 3.5 billion people use Google search to gain information. Simultaneously, the platform experiences an increase of 10% in the search engine search volume. It is not only common search questions or data like 5 pound free casino in a specific area, but around 16-20% of the searches are also new, i.e., no one has searched before this! The information varies greatly, and searching the internet for data is becoming predominant in people’s lives.

As a result, many scientists are studying the effects of searching the internet on human intelligence. The investigation you follow while querying the internet can have a substantial cognitive-developmental impact. It means that the internet affects the rate at which we keep our memories, pay attention, level of creativity and originality, and social networking/ interactions (virtual and physical). Here are some of the ways searching the internet is affecting our intelligence:

● Brains structure is adapting to the use of technology
● Continuous distractions reduce the brain to focus and concentration
● Personal creativity and originality is low
● Overdependence on the internet reduces IQ levels
● Poor memory retention rates

Brains structure is adapting to the use of technology

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor tested experienced internet users versus newbies by asking them to search for a few preselected items/ topics. He aimed to monitor brain activity during the exercise. He noted that experienced internet users’ brain activity was much higher in comparison to the newbies. It was apparent that they had more experience, especially when it came to problem-solving and decision-making. He had the newbies do different searches daily for a week and tested them against experienced users. Their brain activities were much higher, indicating that the brain adapts to technology when used regularly. In most instances, information available online either promotes a specific brand or information.

Most of it is junk that isn’t needed. For students learning and trying to earn a master’s degree, they can attest to the amount of time spent sifting through vast amounts of data to find the most relevant to their studies. However, what they come across is unverified, unreliable information that they cannot use. Since internet search is continuous, people’s brains are adapting, and with so much practice, the tasks become more uncomplicated.

Constant distractions reduce the brain’s focus and concentration

A senior research fellow at the Health Research Institute (NICM) in Western Sydney University researched how the internet could impact an individual’s brain structure, function, and overall cognitive development. One of his conclusions was that the continuous and limitless data and information streamed through the internet encourages divided attention. He concluded that divided attention leads to a decrease in a human’s capacity to focus or concentrate on a single subject or task. It is not abnormal to find a person or young teenager updating his Facebook page while listening to music and texting his friends. These three functions receive partial attention, and scientists believe that partial attention is a form of distraction.

Studies carried out at Stanford indicated that heavy internet users tend to ignore important information in favour of new information. A person may seek to identify and get information on an interesting upcoming subject that concentrates on the current and import data at hand. In other words, it is impossible to ignore an expected incoming email and focus on your more important daily tasks. For instance, players tend to get excited about getting a 500 first deposit bonus and forget to put on an excellent play to garner a win or double the prize.

Personal creativity and originality are low

In the past, people would sit down and come up with ideas on varying subjects. Using whatever materials they had at hand, they would develop their ideas resulting in quality work output. Today, such imagination and creativity are no longer there. If you ask a student to complete a project and ensure originality, the first question they ask is, “you sure no one has thought of this?” Then, they will log into the internet, do a quick search!

Immediately the data and helpful information to complete the assignment is made available. The internet provides not only the data but also the templates and predesigned artworks or patterns for use.

People no longer think, create or imagine. In addition to little recall of data and information, originality and creativity are no longer viable options. A neuroscience professor stated that creativity originates from a ‘mind that knows and remembers a lot!’ The professor believes that having a memory that recalls is essential to any invention.

However, technology has brought new ways to become creative, but it is all from online sources and not our brains or mind.

Overdependence on the internet reduces IQ levels

Whenever faced with a complex question, we all turn to computers, and on rare occasions, will people think of opening an encyclopedia. After all, even Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.

The brain impulse pushes you to the internet for quick access to information, and there is no need to carry or bring heavy book volumes for a study. Even though the information is easy to access, most people remember where they can find the data but not what the report entails in length. Plus, people scan the titles or short descriptions of the article and not the actual information.

Unlimited access to data or information is practical indeed. However, it can also be a source of many limitations, especially for students. The prevalence of research on many subjects on the internet has led to a decrease in student’s brainpower. All they need to do is sift through the different sites containing academic research papers to find the right one. The students no longer put in the effort required to read, research, and understand the subject at hand before developing original or fresh research content. This is taking a toll on human intelligence and, in some instances, lowering the IQ of brilliant people.

Poor memory retention rates

Since the information is easy to reach (retrieved) and access, it has become difficult for our brains to retain data (save). Another study placed several students on the test, indicating that their assignments would either be kept in a computer or be erased after completion.

The study reveals that students would retain the information in their minds if the internet’s data disappear or erased. The internet search and easy access to information affect an individual’s ability to recall. The participants whose data was to be erased paid much more attention and could recall the information on their assignments compared to the others.

Also, people no longer read while online or offline but power browses through available information. Power browsing means that instead of reading from either side left to right and up and down, people scan through the headings or titles. All they want to see and find is matching information or data that specifically stands out. In most instances, people do not pay attention, and neither do they concentrate on the comprehensive description.

The internet is a dynamic platform that keeps providing new data and information on different subjects. Continuous access to search content, as discussed above, can have varying impacts on an individual’s intelligence levels. The brain can adapt and change, but overdependence leads to poor memory recall, low IQ, low concentration and focus, and many more.