Technology: Does Internet Really Threaten Human’s Intelligence?
How lucky it is to live in the era of electronic media and witness all these fast changes. Electronic media has changed people's lives enormously. However, these changes cannot all be described as either good or bad. Although electronic media has improved the quality of human's lives, it has also created some problems and anxieties. For instance, knowledge and education today benefit and suffer simultaneously from these technologies. Moreover, some people have expressed reservations that technological media has some negative effects on the human brain. Although electronic media can produce a culture of distraction, which hinders the process of education, it has been enhancing humanity's cognitive abilities and education accessibility.
Electronic media creates some disruptions within the environment of education. Obviously, electronic media distracts people of different ages and occupation in the education system. Notably, students are one of the most affected groups. According to Carr (2010), a study was carried out at Cornell University, where half of the students were asked to use internet connected laptops, while the others were told not to use their laptops at all. Results indicated that the students who used the Internet performed poorly than those who did not at different exams where they had to remember the notes given in the lectures. Ultimately, from the results of this study, it is evident that internet use lowers human intelligence and memorizing capability. Similarly, another experiment was done at Stanford University's Communication between Humans and Interactive Media Lab. A group of researchers asked 49 people who perform lots of media multitasking and other 52 people who do multitasks less regularly to take some intellectual tests. The first group were instantly distracted, had a weaker attention and it was hard for them to differentiate between important and non-important information. The researchers were shocked with the results as they thought that heavily multitasking individuals had gained unique intellectual benefits. Surprisingly, those intensively multitasking individuals did not do well in multitasking. Nowadays, education is based on Internet and social media. For example, projects and research are created with the help of the Internet because it is an easy and fast way to use. However, it leads to multitasking as students sometimes use other websites or programs that they do not need while doing their assignments, which leads to distraction of their attention. Furthermore, many students’ use electronic media at times when they are not supposed to, like during lectures. Consequently, the students fail.
Nonetheless, electronic media supports humans' intellectual activities. Intellectual activities are mental efforts, like planning, designing or solving problems. Also, Science is an example of intellectual activities. Today, electronic media and science cannot be separated, as Steven Pinker (2010) noted that scientists use their emails continually, hardly ever use papers, and give presentations using PowerPoint. The prosperity of science in these days shows the positive relationship between the usage of electronic media and the development of science. In other words, all the assumptions of the negative impacts of electronic media on humans' brainwork are disapproved. It is natural to have some fears from electronic media, because it is human nature to fear change, therefore, some people accuse anything new that enters their lives to be dangerous. However, after witnessing how electronic media is supporting science in developing, wise people should reconsider their pessimistic suppositions. Moreover, humanity's cooperative ideational output is controlled, explored and restored through different forms of technological media such as Twitter, online books and online databank (Pinker, 2010). As a result, intellectual activities have become easier than ever, since they require less time, effort and money. For example, information needed for historical analysis could be retrieved within few minutes from an online library instead of spending long hours inside a non-electronic library.
Expansion of electronic media makes education accessible to students. Notably, electronic devices become an essential part in education because it makes the training more effective. According to Carr (2010) the internet as a source of searching for information, is more efficient. In fact, the internet saves time when students want to search on a particular subject because they can access the internet in the school labs and find some articles related to their subject by skimming and scanning transaction online. In addition, the internet has high speed of processing and delivering information. Students need a new system of learning to make their education lifelong (Molebash, 2013). E-books encourage learning and enhance performance. In addition, E-books are friendly to the environment unlike printing papers that cause pollution. Consequently, internet is constantly evolving by providing many beneficial things.
In conclusion, the internet is pertinent in enhancing education accessibility and dissemination of knowledge. Exchange of information is easier by use of websites. Similarly, internet enhances the cognitive abilities of people. The demerits of the internet are avoidable through proper adaptation of use. In the modern world, it is has become necessary for people to learn skills in diverse fields in order to become competitive. Obviously, the contribution of internet towards development of human intelligence outweighs the demerits. Therefore, the internet serves as the most flexible source rich in information and relevant platform for human cognitive development.
Pinker, S. (2010, June, 10). Mind over mass media. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010.06/11/opinion/11Pinker.html
Carr, N. (2010, June 5). Does the Internet make you dumber? Wall Street Journal.
Birdwell, A. F. (2007, January 18). Addicted to phones? University of Florida News: Health, Research, Technology. Retrieved from http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/18/cell-addiction/
Molebash, P. (n.d). Technology and education: current and future trends. Accessed on 1st April 2013 from http://www.itari.in/categories/futuretrendsineducation/futureofedu-tech.pdf