The way the human brain adapts to exposure to infinite data within the online environment fascinates me. Continual advances in technology must affect the way people gather and process information.
Sometimes I wonder how much time I spend searching and following online threads. Hours can go by and eventually I’m either satisfied with what I find, get swept away to a different topic or become frustrated and give up.
Am I more knowledgeable or better off for my online experiences? My answer is both yes and no. I have a love hate relationship with my computer.
Yes – via the Internet I have access to
- instant news about current major world events
- accredited educational courses
- plentiful information and multiple points of view
- social connections through blogging, email, Facebook and Skype
- music, movies, e-books, photographs and images
No – my exposure to the online environment has resulted in
- information overload – my brain can’t absorb the volumes of information so I only retain scant detail
- a lack of willingness to read articles more than 400 words
- skepticism about the accuracy and validity of information
- an awareness of scams trying to extort money or private information
- less time for face-to-face communication
I love having access to the online world but constantly remind myself that I existed for 40 years without it.
I think we should embrace the positives of technology but prevent it from becoming an obsession, which it has already become for many people.
Maybe one day per week (at least) we should unplug our computers, phones and I-pads?
I know I would find this challenging.
Would you do it?
What are your views about the online environment?