Sometimes when my Internet is down, I forget that the rest of my computer still works. This is probably also true for other computer users as well. In the book, The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to Our Brains, the author, Nicholas Carr talks about the negative outcome that the internet tends to have on the brain. The internet is a big part of society today. A simple definition of the internet is a worldwide system of interconnected networks and computers (Brockman, 1). The web was developed over a number of years. The early stages of the online network were developed in the late 1960’s. Several people contributed to and helped formulate different aspects of the web. When the internet originally came about, its use was limited to people such as computer experts, engineers, scientists, and even librarians. In the twentieth century, it has become the most used technological device of all time. Statistics show that 74% of the population in the United States makes use of the internet on a daily basis for about 13 hours a week (Mohseni, 10). As a result of this it has made this economy and society as a whole “dumber” in the words of Nicholas Carr. Today’s generation has become “dumber” in the social, emotional, scientific, and psychological sense.
In the book, The Shallows the author, Nicholas Carr, talks about the internet of today and how it has had an effect on society and mindsets of individuals. Carr relates his theory to his own life as he talks about the transition from a “calm, focused, and undistracted” mindset, to a mind that wants and needs to take in information in short “overlapping bursts.” Essentially saying that his mind now is completely opposite of what it used to be. In Chapter one of The Shallows, Carr clearly explains the internet and how it has made our brains function differently than they did before. Brains are highly adaptable, and experiences have long-term effects on its structure and function (Waugh). The internet has different elements and it’s become hard to reaccustom one’s self to simpler pastime such as reading a book. Having different features of the web at one’s fingertips, the brain soon learns to grow accustomed to the constant flow of the online network.
The thought process of a continuous internet user is very different, for example he/she may have different reading and thinking habits. The brain learns how to reprogram itself, and it takes place in the depths of the chemical broth of the synapses (Waugh). If one’s internet use becomes an addiction, a study has been shown that it will cause the equivalent amount of damage as seen in heavy substance abuse (Waugh). Since the internet was invented, studies have shown that instead of being active in society, children would much rather be active in “the world of the world wide web” (Brockman,3). The Internet has changed more than just the thought process of the mind, but also the way that citizens act in society.
“For the first time ever, it has become possible to have a continuous conversation with people regardless of their physical location, schedule or any other constraint” (Mohseni, 2). This is the primary reason on why the internet has taken the country of the United States by storm. Communication is a huge feature of the internet. When this system was just developing and being used frequently for personal and business uses in 1995, there were 25 million users and now in 2013, there are more than 108 million users (Brockman). Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are just some social networks that are inhabited by online browsers every day. The internet has various ways to interact with people all around the world. With having these social networks, users get accustomed to communicating through the social media. It soon becomes harder to encounter people face to face. For example, it is very common to see people texting on their phone while talking to another