Sample Essay On Explaining The Impact On The Intellect
Is the internet improving the intellect of the children or their socializing skills?
Is the internet improving the intellect of the children or their socializing skills?
The modern day technological needs of our lives require that we turn to the internet for aid whenever we need to find information on a topic, whether for our own general knowledge or for a need in our student or professional life. The concept of the traditional library is being replaced by countless electronic libraries that we carry around in our phones, laptops and tablets inform of Google, Bing or yahoo. For us to adapt to these changes that our life is bearing witness to, it is necessary for our intelligence to shift; so that it can adapt and make room for the change. So yes! The internet is changing the dimensions of human intelligence, for adults and children alike, but is this change positive or just another cruel gift of technology? The internet provides us with a lot of information which makes us smarter, but our ability to focus is diminishing. Also, because we are communicating more over texts and e-mails, the practice is putting a toll on our relationships. The bottom line, therefore, is that the internet is making us smarter, but less focused and even less invested towards the relationships that we keep.
In order to investigate the impact of the internet on human intelligence, the psychology professor at the Columbia University Betsy Sparrow and her team conducted a series of different experiments. The verdict; the study concluded that since people seek the answers to their questions on the internet, they are less motivated to commit information to memory. But is that such a bad thing? I believe not. The real question still remains though, does it make us smarter? Upon being questioned by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American life project, a panel of about 370 experts expressed their opinion according to which, 80 percent were of the outlook that the internet is has enhanced human intelligence . How is this possible though? Children who spend more time on the internet have greater opportunity to enhance their literacy and other skills because the internet requires them to use their intellect to search for information and also enables them to educate themselves through games, articles, social networking and countless other media.
Intelligence is one aspect of our metal ability that the internet has a bearing on. There is another aspect that also changes under the influence of the internet, and that is the ability to concentrate. The article was written by Nicolas Carr, ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’ has become somewhat of a legend on the internet with many writing in support of Carr’s ideas and others presenting evidence against it. Carr complains that where at one end, the internet is saving precious time that might have been spent cramming through periodicals, we find information that matches our specifications in a matter of minutes, but the downside is that having read so many articles and periodicals, the style of taking in information has altered. Rather than reading and understanding information and ideas in depth, we skim through the information taking in only the basic ideas of the subject. In short, the internet is reducing our ability to concentrate for too long; that is our concentration span is declining.
Clive Thompson, a renowned author, and a journalist explains in his newly-released book ‘smarter than you’ how life online is making us sharper. In the world prior to the existence of the social media, people were mostly accustomed to keeping their thoughts to themselves, but with facebook and twitter in their lives, children tend to share their thoughts with the other people which gives them an opportunity to learn from their peers. By sharing ideas with one another, the young generation is solving problems at a scale we might not have thought possible and is gaining knowledge on a constant basis. Also since the information that is available on Facebook has taken a graphical form that is easy to digest more knowledge is passing through the children’s attention and they retain at least some if not all of that information.
The contribution towards our social skills
Another aspect that the internet leaves an imprint on in our lives is our ability to engage in relationships and uphold them. The written word does not communicate the message that a spoken message might be able to, the reason being that a spoken message is rich in non-verbal cues and indications that the listener’s ability to understand the message that’s being communicated is enhanced. This is why the modern communications incorporate special communication tools including emoticons and abbreviations like ‘LOL’ and ‘LMAO’. But let’s get real; is it a fair substitute to the voice of someone’s laughter or expression of surprise or even disappointment for that matter? The internet is providing us with an alternative to having to depart difficult messages or information over the electronic media. It might become easier for the communicator is not having to face the challenge of disappointing someone, but the problem is that the real essence of the message gets lost in communication. This ultimately implies that the bonds that we form lack of strength and, as a result, we face the challenge in maintaining relationships.
Many people worry about the future of children who have gadgets to rely on whenever they find it difficult to make eye contact with anyone. Are they losing their ability to handle improvised interaction with any person? We have been through many situations that mostly cause awkwardness and make us uneasy because someone in the conversation says the wrong thing. This means that conversation is also an art that takes practice, a skill that the young ones are not making significant efforts to polish. This ultimately implies that their ability to communicate and interact with others will always lack in quality and hence the internet has impacted the way in which communications are carried on by the young ones.
Effects on relationships
Another problem that the youth of today is facing or might soon have to align with is the impact that it is inflicting on the relationships that we keep. 45 percent of the internet users who are between the ages of 18 and 29 and are in serious relationships claim that the internet has an impact on the relationships that they keep. The young people claim not only to use internet as the communication tool but also say that they use it as a tool to settle many of their disputes. Also, a report ‘Couples, the internet, and social media’ states that 27 percent of all the people who have relationships have been influenced by the internet in positive as well as negative ways.
The question is; is the impact on the relationships really bad? There is a vast majority of people who are of the opinion that the internet has been giving us more and more excuses to ruin relationships. In no less than 80 percent of the cases of divorce, at least one partner used Facebook for the purpose of cheating on their spouse. While the debate goes on about whether or not internet impacts relationships adversely, many people also argue that facebook is being used as an excuse so that we do not have to consider more complex issues that are having so much effect on our relationships. Whatever the case the issue that needs consideration here is that we are inviting our youngsters into the same world of deception and heartbreak that we are going through. Whether or not the internet is to blame is a problem that we need to figure out and solve at the earliest possible hour.
Facebook depression is the price that we pay for the social interaction through the internet. The psychologist of the University of Michigan Ethan Kross argues that even though we join Facebook to maintain a strong social circle, it is immense tendency to make us sad and secluded. In providing proof for the claim, Kross carried out an experiment for the purpose of which he and his colleagues sent messages to eighty-two of Ann-Arbor’s residents five times during a single day. The purpose of the texts was to figure out how the subjects of the experiment felt overall, how worried or lonely they were at any particular time, the frequency with which they logged on to facebook and the extent of direct interaction with people in between two consecutive texts. At the conclusion of the experiment, Kross affirmed that the extent of use of facebook in between two texts was proportional to the level of misery that the person felt. This led him to the confirmation if his hypothesis that the use of Facebook declined the level of satisfaction in the lives of people.
Before we get to the root of the problem, it is first essential that we recognize the reasons for its occurrence. What is the reason for the manifestation of Facebook depression? Even though Facebook is proving to be a very handy tool for communication, it can also plant the seeds of envy in people’s hearts. The problem is that the way people broadcast their lives to their friends, they stress upon the pleasant facts of their lives and seeing how well a friend is doing in his or her life financially or romantically as opposed to the current situation of the viewer, the user might end up feel envious and resentful and these feeling may very soon turn into depression.
The Brighter side to the story; the benefits that the internet offers
All news regarding the internet is not bad, fortunately. The fact that we still use internet and rely on it in our daily lives is proof that there is also are a bright side to it. Where in 2001, 1 in every 250 people in Africa were internet users as opposed to 1 in every 35 in America and 1 in 3 in Europe, the present day household has access to the internet in almost every residence.
The children of today use the internet to research information for their projects and school assignments, which make it their primary source of knowledge. Studying on the internet also saves the children precious time that they might otherwise spend researching and skimming through countless books and periodicals which leaves them free for co-curricular activities and tasks. Another benefit is that incorporating technology in classrooms makes it easier for the children to understand what is being said because the use of graphics and symbols makes the job that much easier. Another benefit is that classrooms that use technology tend to make studying more fun especially for the children in their earlier stages of education and they do not have to be forced to pay attention or do their work, rather they feel inclined to do so themselves.
Internet in the age of today also means that students can communicate with others all over the world which teaches the importance of different cultures and also develops respect for people from other nations and parts of the world. Also, having internet as the helping tool means that the adolescents have one more tool that they could use to gain knowledge and as a result they are learning more rapidly and are also learning more.
What happens if we do not adapt
Having a tool as strong as the internet in our lives means that we need to make a few changes in order to accommodate this facility, and this might call for us to think in different ways and the approach in which our intelligence is measured and appreciated may also see variations. Not adapting to the change, however, might deprive use of a number of benefits that the internet has to offer and can, therefore, make us less than perfect. This would also mean that those of us who do not integrate the benefits of technology may fall behind and may not be able to compete with others of their generation and may for the same reason face hardships in coping with their environment. In a very similar manner, our children can also not adapt without internet in their lives.
This means that negating technology is not an option and doing so may lead a number if hardships and challenges. What we need to do in the situation is what is perfectly described in an idiom ‘threading the needle’, which means finding a safe path between two opposing situations. To sum it all up, we need to maintain the importance of internet in our lives and at the same time, try to mitigate the negative manifestations that it might be imposing.
How can we minimize the negative aspects of the change?
We have already decided that giving up on the gift of the internet is hardly an option that we could afford, so what we need to try to do at this point is to minimize the negative impacts of the internet on our lives. Since the internet impacts our intelligence positively, there is nothing that requires change at that point, but the adverse impact that the internet is inflicting on our social skills and relationships are problems that need solving.
The social skills of the children could be protected by encouraging them to participate in outdoor activities and games and because these activities require teamwork, they are a clever way of polishing their interaction skills and their bonds with their friends. Also, the children need to be taught the proper etiquettes’ of sending personal messages over the internet. They need to learn that it is not a good idea to send difficultly and private messages through texts or e-mails. This practice has vastly adverse impacts on relationships. Also, that avoiding awkward and uncomfortable communication cannot get us anywhere with people, rather it is crucial that we face challenging situations and learn from them the proper way to communicate.
We could also save a number of relationships by exercising just a little bit of caution in our lives. Firstly, it is not a good idea to use social networking facilities to be disloyal to your partner, and it might not always be a success. Also, children need to realize that the relationships that are created online cannot be as strong as a relationship that takes root from face-to-face interactions and it is, therefore, important to designate a reasonable amount of time in our lives to actual interactions not only with one’s spouse but also with family members. It might also prove quite advantageous if we teach our children the importance of balancing the use of the internet and take all necessary precautions that ascertain that it does not come as far as ruining our bonds with our loved ones and friends.
Concluding remarks- the overall effect of the internet
The impact of the internet on our lives is mostly positive. It increases our ability to make use of our intellect and makes learning more rapid for us and also for our children. We have more sources for information and that definitely affects us in a good way. The problem, however, is that the internet does not have very reassuring significance on our concentration span, and it has made us more accustomed to skimming information rather than reading in depth. But, this change probably is also because of the way that we have integrated the internet into our lives and the way that we think no longer requires us to pay in-depth attention to every detail.
There is, however, one problem that comes under scrutiny, which is the way that we communicate and the effect on the same because of the internet. The good thing, however, is that we cold minimize any negative influences by taking a few precautions that we have already discussed. All in all, the internet is a very powerful tool and has more benefits over demerits, and it would be unwise to not benefit from all of the gifts that this technology has to offer.
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