A new epidemic has fallen over America and is spreading like wild fire across the states as more and more fall victim to its claws. That epidemic is known as internet addiction which many of today’s youths are prone to due to the widespread usage of technology. Excessive use of the internet has proven hazardous to the generation because it decreases cognitive ability, impairs social development, and increases health problems. Since the current American society relies heavily on technology and web searches through google, the internet has become a necessary essential and making addiction almost inevitable.
Those born into this digital dependency are at a high risk for cognitive impairment. Nicholas Carr, the author of the article, Does the Internet make you more Dumber? which was published in the Wall Street Journal, writes that those who spend more time on the internet compared to those who didn’t comprehended less and lacked focus, appearing to be very distracted and having a hard time concentrating on trivial problems. This occurrence is caused by the information overload the internet presents and causes users to become scatterbrained instead of staying focus (Nicholas Carr). An experiment was conducted at Standford University’s Communication Between Humans and Interactive
Media Lab, where a group of researchers gave multiple cognitive tests to 49 people who were heavy media multitaskers and to 53 people who were media multitaskers. The results were shocking. The 49 heavy multitaskers, did poorly in every test given and it was discovered that they couldn’t even multitask at all (Nicholas Carr). Carr mentions that the internet enables the ability to work on more than one project to another through rapid shifts of a finger click, but it has been discovered that shifts in focus result in less deep thinking and induces a superficial thoughts.
Another study by Mr. Merzenich, Professor of University of California in San Francisco found out that the brain is adaptable to whatever situation it is put in, therefore it can adapt to our technology habit which could be deadly to our intellectual lives. In other words, the individual “become signal processing units, quickly shepherding disjointed bits of info and then out of short term memory (Nicholas Carr).” Patricia Greenfield, a leading developmental psychologist, discovered that the “internet strengthened visual-spatial intelligence”. But for what cost, but a “new weakness in higher-order cognitive processes,” which included critical thinking, imagination and abstract vocabulary (Nicholas Carr).
Aside from cognitive skills decreasing, social development is also at risk. The average teenager spends up to 8 hours on the computer, which is a staggering 56 hours a week (Steven Reinberg). With all the time spent surfing the web or playing computer games, and the remaining amount of time spent sleeping or at school, it conflicts with a student’s ability to socialize. Although there are many networking...