Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

Is the internet making us stupid?

How we seek breadth of information, and sacrifice depth

By Gary Marshall

http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/is-the-internet-making-us-stupid—673843

Since we came out of the caves, every new technology has been greeted with alarm and disdain.

When we invented fire, people moaned that we’d forget the art of making salads. When we invented the wheel, people moaned that we’d forget how to walk. And when we invented the internet, people moaned that we’d forget how to think.

The difference is, the internet moaners might be right. The 2008 report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, commissioned by the British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee, found clear evidence of the negative effects of internet use.

"Deep log studies show that, from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, ‘flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Society is dumbing down."

If that’s true, things are only going to get worse. The endless amusements of the internet are no longer limited to desktop PCs. Thanks to smartphones, we’re online whenever we’re out and about, too – and convergence means we’ll soon be tweeting from our TVs. So what is browsing doing to our brains?

Pavlov’s blogs

For all our fancy shoes and flat-screen iMacs, it turns out that we’re not that different from Pavlov’s dogs: we race from link to link because our brains have been conditioned to associate novelty with pleasure.

The more we do, the faster we think; the faster we think, the better we feel about ourselves and about the world around us.

In a series of experiments conducted at Harvard and Princeton universities, people were asked to think as quickly as possible by brainstorming ideas, speed-reading things on computer screens or watching video clips on fast-forward.

As Scientific American reports, "Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whipping through an easy crossword puzzle or brainstorming quickly about an idea, can boost energy and mood," says psychologist Emily Pronin, the study’s lead author.

Pronin and her colleagues suggest that we may associate fast thinking with being in a good mood, and that "thinking quickly may unleash the brain’s novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward".

Dopamine

MMMM… DOPAMINE: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that’s released whenever we do anything pleasurable such as enjoy food, have sex or take drugs. It’s long been implicated in various forms of addiction and may explain why some people are so keen on risky behaviour such as extreme sports or high-stakes business decisions. It could be the reason why we’re constantly distracted.

Dr Gary Small is a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute, directs the Memory and Aging Research Center and the UCLA Center on Aging and is the author of iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind. As he explains, what many of us do on our PCs isn’t multitasking. It’s something rather different, which he calls Partial Continuous Attention.

 

GARY SMALL: Dr Gary Small, UCLA, says searching online is a form of brain exercise

"With Partial Continuous Attention or PCA you’re scanning the environment, looking for new bits of information that might tweak your dopamine reward system and be more exciting [than what you’re doing]," he says.

Dr Small and his colleagues at UCLA have found positive results from using technology, particularly with older people. As Dr Small puts it, "Searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults." But there’s an important caveat.

"The problem is that it tends to create this staccato quality of thought, where you jump from idea to idea as you jump from site to site. You get a lot of breadth of information, but you sacrifice depth."

The British Library study focused purely on scholars – that is, people with an interest in the things they were researching – but even they had magpie minds. "The figures are instructive," the report says.

CIBER study

CIBER STUDY: The British Library’s CIBER study found that short attention spans weren’t just for kids

"Around 60 per cent of e-journal users view no more than three pages and a majority (up to 65 per cent) never return … It’s clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signs that new forms of reading are emerging as users ‘power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense."

The British Library study revealed another concern: "The speed of young people’s internet searching indicates that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority. Researchers have similarly found young people give a consistent lack of attention to the issue of authority. In one study, many teenagers thought if a site was indexed by Yahoo it had to be authoritative."

Good tech, bad tech

So are we raising a generation of internet-addled kids with zero attention spans? Perhaps not. The study of 3,001 English and Scottish schoolchildren by the National Literacy Trust found that children who blog or post on social networks "have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing", with 61 per cent of bloggers and 56 per cent of social networkers claiming to be "good or very good at writing" compared to 47 per cent of nonblogging, non-networking children. "Pupils who write online are more likely to write short stories, letters, song lyrics or a diary," it reports.

National literary trust

ANOTHER STUDY: The National Literacy Trust found that children who write blogs and get involved in social networking tend to be more literate and more likely to write for fun

Technology isn’t good or bad; it just is. When we use it wisely it improves our lives, and the very distractions that ruin our attention span also make us amazingly good at juggling massive amounts of information.

"That’s why we love it and use it," Dr Small says, "because it really enhances our lives … for the most part it’s not going to harm us as far as we know, but I do think there are these subtler effects to which some people are more sensitive.

Some people do have problems, some people are addicted, and some people find it interferes with their lives. The issue is: how do we maximise the benefits and avoid some of the potential risks?"

 

Courtesy: Techradar.com

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Live updates

Library@KV Pattom

Dear Visitor,

This is the official Blog of Library @ Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, launched in September 2007. Explore the site, you will get a complete picture of all offline and online resources available and services provided by the Library. Here is a friend, who will help you to find, evaluate and use the right information at right time.

You are the Visitor, Number

  • 5,093,811

5 Million Hits and counting..

Thank you all for making this blog a great success.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events

KVS Innovations and Experimentations Award 2010

"Library Junction" won the KVS Innovations and Experimentation Award 2010.

All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education for Schools and Teacher Education Institutions 2010-’11

Library Junction won the "All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education for Schools and Teacher Education Institutions 2010-'11" conducted by NCERT.

Visit your Library

Browse Books and Periodicals. Read Newspapers. Pick a New Book from the 'New Arrivals' rack. Search the Internet and the OPAC. Refer for assignments and projects. Suggest a book. Ask a question.Write your comments. And more...Visit the Library Today itself. You are most welcome.

Telephone Reference

+91 9447699724 (Librarian)

E-mail Reference

mail your reference questions to librarykvpattom@gmail.com

Ask the Librarian

“Billion beats:the pulse of India”

The fortnightly e-paper uplinked to www.abdulkalam.com. To visit click the link "E-paper" on Web directory

Website of the Week

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/

Archives

RSS This day in History

  • Pompey defeated by Julius Caesar at the Battle of Pharsalus: 9 August 48 - This Day in History
    During the Roman Civil War of 49–45 , Julius Caesar's troops on this day in 48 decisively defeated the army of Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus, causing Pompey to flee to Egypt, where he was subsequently murdered.More Events on this day:1945: The second atomic bomb dropped on Japan by the United States in World War II struck the city of Nagasaki.1 […]
  • Amedeo Avogadro: Biography of the Day
    Amedeo AvogadroBorn this day in 1776, Amedeo Avogadro of Italy showed that, under controlled conditions of temperature and pressure, equal volumes of gases contain an equal number of molecules—what became known as Avogadro's law.
  • Concise Encyclopedia Book and CD-ROM: Special Price from The Britannica Store
    For RSS subscribers The Britannica Store presents a special 20% discount on the Concise Encyclopedia and free CD-ROM. This thoroughly revised and expanded edition of Britannica's most popular publication worldwide is a one-volume encyclopedia containing 28,000 articles accompanied by colorful photographs, diagrams, maps, and flags. The Britannica Concis […]

Recommendations

Library Bookmark

Be a Fan of Library on Facebook

e-reading hub @ Your Library

Face a Book Challenge

RSS KV News Digest

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Reader of the Month (September 2016)

Sruthi S., VII A

Learn anything freely with Khan Academy Library of Content

A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Interactive challenges, assessments, and videos, on any topic of your interest.

It’s My Library: Share your Bookfies, Libfies and all Library Stories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,661 other followers

Face a Book: The Reading Challenge

InfoLit India: Information Literacy Project for Young Learners

Subscribe SMS updates

Send: ON Library_KVPattom to 9870807070

‘School Libraries Rocks’ ; International Bookmark Exchange Programme 2015, with Croatia

Twitter Updates

CBSE Toll Free Tele/Online Helpline

Students can call 1800-11-7002 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. On-line counseling on: director.edusat@rediffmail.com, mcsharma2007@rediffmail.com

Child Line (1098)

CHILDLINE 1098 service is a 24 hour free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection.

Population Stabilization in India Toll Free Helpline

Dial 1800-11-6555 for expert advice on reproductive, maternal and child health; adolescent and sexual health; and family planning.

Quick Answers

CONTACT

S.L.Faisal, Librarian, Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I) Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram-695 004, Kerala, India. Mail: librarykvpattom at gmail.com
%d bloggers like this: