The Internet has changed the realms of networking and computing like nothing else before it. The invention of computers, telephones, telegraphs, and radios paved the way for integrated capabilities, which was a ground-breaking step. The Internet is recognized as a global forum for collaboration, a mechanism for information dissemination and broadcasting capability, and contact between people and their computers independent of geographic location. The Internet exemplifies the most effective models of the advantages of information technology, continued investment, and a dedication to R&D. Steven Johnson basically persuades readers that over the last 30 years popular culture is making us smarter through complex intellectual challenges. In the second section of the book, he actually focuses on how online interactions are bringing people together and making them smarter. This new reality of virtual communication is beneficial to mind development and without it we would lose the basis of social interactions. According to Johnson, the increased use of internet is challenging “our minds in three fundamental and related ways, by virtue of being participatory, by forcing users to learn new interfaces and by creating channels for social interactions”(Johnson,pp.117-118).
On the other hand, the Internet seems to have taken the more significant role in the lives of people and ended up eroding their ability to concentrate. According to Carr (pp.77), the internet is a dangerous influence on our power of concentration. He states that “What we’re experiencing is, in a metaphorical sense, a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: we are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest” (Carr, pp. 91).The creation of computers and the Internet yielded great rewards of having unlimited information at the fingertips but turned out to be a system that set people in a state of constant disruption and perpetual distraction. It has placed people in a precarious situation that if the Internet disappears today, they would be incapacitated to perform any simple task that requires minimum use of brains. Carr continues to argue that the more sinister thing about the internet is that it is teaching people to stop thinking (Carr, pp.4).
Despite the fact that Internet has significantly improved the standards of living and reduced work and travel, its disappearance would be a rebirth of innovation and creativity in their minds (Carr, pp. 5). The world without internet means the time spent on the net reading social media messages and watching movies would reduce and more time relocated for doing other things like reading books, newspapers, and magazines. Reading a book or a magazine in action draws both a sense of sight and a sense of touch. This helps reprogram the memories and enhance creativity and the thinking capacity. The internet users would also draw their brains back to normal, a departure from the adaptation of value-neutrality, a point where minds might get dumb or smart (Johnson).
The use of internet means outsourcing one’s memory to a machine, together with an essential part of intellect and identity. In a world without the internet, one would rely on library books and materials. Active reading leads to supplemental or related information rather than being propelled by the internet towards that information.The Internet has facilitated entertainment ranging from sports, watching movies, film and much more. Any information needed can be retrieved from the internet by a mere click away. In the absence of the internet, one would visit the field and do physical exercises that would help enhance and reprogram them from the state of value-neutrality back to its standard capability of thinking. Subjecting the body to a range of emotional practices ensures the functioning and mobility of the joints of the body and the brain as well. In the process of exercising, the mind can regain its standard way of operation and the thinking.
Barry et al, (pp.1), explains that the internet has no significant influence on social capital communication and does not supplement interpersonal interactions, participatory, or community commitments, without it, life would indeed continue uninterrupted. Although, the online interaction of people will supplement personal and telephone communication it will not reduce or increase social networking. However, worlds without internet would experience a substantial decrease in participatory voluntary organizations and politics. Further, internet users lack commitment to the online community, and without the internet interactions would be more meaningful with an element of trust and commitment. Taken together, the evidence proposes that despite the fact that the internet had been deeply integrated into our routine practices, a world without Internet would still be rather normal (Barry et al, n.d).
Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W.
Norton & Company, 2010. Internet resource.
Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually
Making Us Smarter. New York: Riverhead Books, 2006. Print.
Wellman, Barry, et al. “Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment.” American behavioral scientist 45.3 (2001): 436-455.Bottom of Form