Figuring out the effect of the internet on Americans’ brains is incredibly important in the modern era. More people are plugged in, communicating and sharing information digitally. Big businesses are staying afloat by transferring more of their day-to-day operations online. More businesses are being started online. When normal people want to tell their friends about something, update all the people in their social circle about what’s going on in their lives or find information, they log onto social media or hit their favorite search engine. If someone doesn’t have a wireless phone or internet router in their house, people think they’re crazy, and not without good reason. The digital world is so deeply integrated with the physical world that it can actually be pretty hard for someone to participate in a bustling environment without it. Hence the stereotype of an unplugged person in the boonies.
All of this makes the idea that the internet might be having a negative effect on our minds even more troubling. It’s not like America or the rest of the world can go back after having plugged in. Entire industries have been funded and are contributing to the community through taxes. Which is why the idea that it is somehow detrimental to the way we think seems ridiculous to me. The streamlined thinking detractors of the internet condemn is a result of the sheer volume of information being added to the internet at a time. In order to expose a user to multiple avenues of information, they might find appealing, chunks of information are summarized. This is to pique the interest of whoever’s reading, who would then continue to do more in-depth research with the vast amount of data the internet has to offer. In fact, the extensive catalog of sources the internet holds can vastly increase the information someone has if they wish to seek it. The internet is only detrimental to the way someone thinks if they aren’t will to seek out knowledge on their own.