BY BRUCE CHESSELL
It seems that in this day and age everything has been streamlined for people. With a couple of clicks of a button you can access a world of information thanks to the Internet. Now you can even have the power of a full computer in the palm of your hand with smart phones. But is all of this making us lazier?
A study from Columbia University found that people are less likely to remember what they read online, but they could tell you where they read it. Other research done by U.S. psychologist Tracy Alloway was conducted and outlined on www.psychologytoday.com. The study determined if someone was an “active” user of technology or a “passive” user, by using a questionnaire that reflected his or her interactions with different Internet forums such as Facebook or Twitter. The study found that digital technology does change the way your brain works, but the change is not necessarily a bad thing.
According to the study an active user of technology is better at processing information in parallel, meaning that they can quickly adjust to a change in an information stream and pick up on what they need to do about it. This is in contrast to a passive user of technology who can successfully take in information bit by bit at a time.
So how does this affect us in our day-to-day lives? According to Alloway’s study, being an active user is much better than being a passive user in the modern era of technology. “In a modern workplace where multi-tasking is standard, technology can give us an edge. The old school way of remembering facts and information is not necessary. With Google at our fingertips, we don’t need to,” she says in her study.
On the otherhand, the Internet may be hindering us. Aside from Google and having information constantly at our command, the Internet also offers us the ability to get whatever we want whenever we want. Sites such as Amazon and eBay offer us everything we desire and deliver it too. And after we can even order a pizza off of Pizza Pizza’s website.
So the Internet may not make our minds lazy, but it is making us physically lazy. We don’t even have to go to a store to shop anymore.
So the answer to, does the Internet make us lazier, is a yes and no. Our brains have become more active, being able to process an abundance of information more quickly and efficiently, but we never have to leave our computer desks because we can have anything we want delivered right to us. To right this wrong, the next time we order a pizza online we should do it the old way and get out of the house.