The internet is a vast digital world, one where a few “clicks” can take you a thousand “klicks” away.There is no denying the endless opportunities it presents. It creates convenience, accessibility, and solidarity. But is that all? Is the world wide web not also a breeding ground for social barriers, superficial relationships, and lack of deep understanding?

It is. The gross dependence that society now has on the internet may impact one’s attention span, memory, and creativity. Once you accept an agreement that you do not actually read, you may submit these aspects of yourself. 

This relatively new resource is the phenomenon of the century. Social media platforms have become a means of the youth’s movement. Connection and conversation overwhelm users.

“I don’t think [being online] really has adverse effects on my intelligence,” Laura Pearson, sophomore, said, “but if I am on social media, it doesn’t necessarily give me the same intelligence boost as a book would.”

Furthermore, this abundance of material comes in various shapes and forms. Presenting as entertainment or news, it is compacted into enough time to hold the audience’s attention while expressing its’ purpose.

Matthew Roberts, college freshman said, “When Twitter came out with tweets of 140 characters and Vine had six-second videos, it was all about fitting as much information as possible in the small space you’re given.”

The continuous limitation results in the inability to concentrate on subjects easily. Simultaneously, the posts come and go with a refresh of the page, creating a constant flow of new content.

Spanish teacher, Stephani Biggs said, “We, adults and kids, have become so dependent on a search engine.” The rationale is, “We don’t need to keep it in our memory if we can just have our phone tell us at the moment.”

Moreover, this instant dictionary, fact finder, and news source have evolved to be the backbone of most people’s knowledge. The time it takes to rack your brain to know what happened a century ago takes three times longer than Google. Given so, why spend 10 minutes in a textbook when it only takes 10 seconds to type it in the search bar?

What is the benefit of writing the notes on paper compared to simply “copy and pasting” it into a virtual document?

According to PsycNet, when studying for delayed tests, exams at least 24 hours prior to initially reviewing the topic, handwritten notes resulted in better recollection. This direct correlation between memory and cognition impacts learners of all ages.

“Teachers know that, nowadays, kids can just look up the answers,” Roberts said. “I think the reason behind them asking students to put their phones away is just wanting them to think for themselves instead of having a search engine doing it.”

The process of learning and expression come in many levels. Beyond the bare minimum lie opportunities to truly understand a concept and apply it. However, using a technologically based method may stifle one’s performance.

Nona Kummell, Creative Writing teacher said, “In your brain, when you are thinking, your neurons are working. But the connections you have are just not there when you type on a computer,” Kummell said. “Whereas when you write, pen to paper, it is. It comes from your brain, flows through your heart, down your arm, and into your hands to write a creative piece.”

Likewise, Jake Weidmann, one of 12 Master Penmans worldwide, exhausts the many questions one may have when choosing to write on paper or type on a screen in a TEDx Talk.

Society has grown and shaped itself complementary to technology. Each has become so integrated into the other that human life stumbles on itself without it. Although it is a beneficial relationship between people and their devices, it can quickly become parasitic. So how can you counteract this worsening issue? Read longer books. Flip through the pages of the textbook glossary. Allow creativity to seep on to your paper.

Find the balance between appreciating technology’s benefits and a life beyond the screen.

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