Internet is Making People Stupid– Less Creative, Less Thought: Click-Bait, Pawn of Commercial Interests…

The internet is changing the way people– think, behave… But does it make people– smarter or stupid? Stronger or weaker? Freer or more enslaved? Do people control it, or does it control people? Does it change the way people think and process information? According to Nicholas Car; people don’t think the way they used to think; they are deeply dependent on networking technology, and it’s changing not only the way people think, but also it’s changing the structure of the human brain… People don’t write down or memorize detailed information any more, they just do an internet search to retrieve it…

The internet is a global prosthesis for collective memory. According to some; that means people are losing some capacity for contemplative thinking… and as people get better at hopping from page-to-page, link-to-link… they become less creative in their thinking... However, the idea that the brain is a kind of zero-sum game, where engaging the internet is somehow diminishing the ability to think creatively may be a little far-fetched… In fact, it may be complete opposite where the internet stimulates people to think and act more creatively because they are exposed to new and different ideas and experiences…

In the article Internet Makes People Stupid by Kabir Sehgal writes: The internet enables a dizzying array of decisions, e.g.; click here, watch this, share that… These may seem like trivial decisions but it means that the human brain is consequently reshaping itself on how it learns, reads, thinks… According to UCLA study; researchers found that people who are more experience with the internet have heightened mental activity, particularly in part of the brain that affects decisions…

But there is a downside; when people encounter distractions, such as; hyperlinked text… the brain asks the question: To click, or not to click… And since a person is constantly being interrupted to make these decisions they rarely concentrate on content, consequently they don’t retain information as deep knowledge… According to Nicholas Carr; the constant redirection of a person’s mental resources from reading to making judgments may be imperceptible but its been shown to impede comprehension and retention when repeated frequently…

In the article Internet Changing People’s Brain?  by Sarah Churchwell writes: Not surprisingly, internet usage rewires the brain and even a little usage changes the neural pathways of the brain… Hence some people become mindless consumers of information… According to Geoff Dyer; people’s ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the Internet… But does that really matter? Possibly. Human creativity is predicated on engaging the long-term memory, in order to create new neural pathways and associations.

But by reading ‘snips’ of information, incessantly, on the internet, the mind is scattered and has less focus, which diminishes creative thinking… According to Bidisha; the internet is definitely affecting the way people think… it means people are constantly being distracted, interrupted… They are being pushed, pulled in different directions and, literally and metaphorically, they can be anywhere in the world through a simple click…

In the article Internet is Making People Stupid by Richard Bennett  writes: Click-bait is making people stupid. This isn’t a new fact, it’s a reality and it’s increasingly harder to ignore… But  people are getting smarter because they have  easy access to an ocean of information: These are the realities of the internet. Yes, the internet makes more information available but most of it is ‘click-bait’ because that’s where the money is… The more people surf the internet– the more links are clicked, more pages are viewed… that means more companies collect more information about the habits and behavior of more people… So they can feed more advertisements to sell more things.

It’s in an organization’s best commercial interest to collect crumbs of information about people as they flit from link-to-link and drive people to distraction. But it’s not in their commercial interests to encourage a leisure read or slow concentrated thought… According to Walter Quattrociocchi; this creates an ecosystem in which the truth value of information doesn’t really matter… All that matters is whether the information fits in a specific narrative… Finding information that fits in the narrative makes a person a good candidate for commercial engagement…

In the article Internet Making People Stupid by David Weinberger writes: Suggesting that the internet is making people stupid is a relative notion, i.e.; it’s a matter of whether it makes ‘you’ or ‘other people’ stupid… We all, or maybe most people, spend time bouncing around the internet as if it were a global pinball table. One link leads to another and then to another… Sometimes topics are worth knowing about and sometimes they’re just mental itches that spawn more itches every time scratched. Often people can’t remember how they got there and sometimes they don’t even remember where they started and why…

But it’s undeniable that the internet is immeasurably powerful, it’s the conduit for much of the information that flows to people’s minds. The advantages of having immediate access to incredibly rich store of information are many and widely described and duly applauded… According to Clive Thompson; its huge boon to thinking: But does this boon come at a price? According to Marshall McLuhan; it’s not just a passive channel of information, it supplies stuff of thought and shapes the process of thought… chips away at the capacity for concentration, contemplation, creativity…

People who read text studded with ‘links’ comprehend less than those who read words printed on pages. People who watch busy multimedia presentations remember less than those who take in information in a more sedate and focused manner. People who are continually distracted by emails, updates, messages... understand less than those who are able to concentrate. And people who juggle many tasks are often less creative and less productive than those who are focused…

The more people use it, the less they are engaged in quieter, slower attentive modes of thought that underpin contemplation, reflection, introspection… it’s not that people’s habits have changed but it’s the way people ‘thinking’ has changed. One thing is for sure– the internet, with just a simple click, unleashes an unlimited wealth of discovery. And if that makes a person stupid, well then that person made a choice…