Human Cognition and the Role of the Internet The internet, especially Google, contains bulks of information that are of significant use in research and development. Accounting for the accessibility of information in the Internet, the Internet becomes the most valued source of information, especially those that pertain to education, business, and other professional and non-professional use…
These cognition deficiencies are considered attributable to Internet use because the way information presented in the Internet influences human cognition. For instance, in Is Google Making Us Stupid?, Nicholas Carr argues that Internet use affects reading habits, as well as comprehension and retention of information (57). The way Google presents the information affects the way people understand the information, as well. The design of the web pages, which are oftentimes collage-like, divides the attention of readers. Web pages are often full of advertisements with flashing colors that distract the concentration of readers. Additionally, there are also hyperlinks that merely draw the attention of readers, rather than point to sites containing significant information. In addition, advertisements that are put together with information may divert the attention of Internet users. Thus, as the human mind reprograms itself to adapt with the technologies, the human mind also adapts the collage-like structure of information as projected in the Internet. Relatively, human cognition becomes inclined to prefer shortened information over the detailed, lengthy ones. Considering the effects of the Internet on human cognition, it can be said that Internet users need to be evaluative when gathering information from the Internet. As mentioned by McLuhan, the media, which include the Internet, are not just ways in which information are generated and transferred (qtd. in Carr 57). The media also direct and influence the way people understand the information that is being transferred through them. The complexity and amount of information produced by the media often confuses people hindering them to think and evaluate information critically and contemplatively. Aside from this, the Internet also influences the way people see and use information. In its capacity to transfer and generate information faster, the internet leaves people behind should they fail to cope with the fast information transfer. In addition, the bulk of the information contained in the Internet overwhelms readers in such a way that readers will be trapped in the wide variety of topics in the Internet. The problem of information segregation comes as people get confronted with various hyperlinks that may not point to appropriate and relevant information. As internet users toggle from link to link, internet users may lose their focus and get trapped in another information that are not related to the topic at hand. In this context, it can be said that the fast, complex, and vast information contained in the Internet may decrease concentration that may, in turn, decrease retention of information. Thus, problems related to cognitive deficiencies come when the human mind cannot cope with the complexity and speed of information transfer in the Internet. So, the question as to whether Google (or the internet, in general) had made people stupid is thought-provoking and worthy of critical investigation. While there are evidences that prove the inhibiting effects of internet use, the Internet also provides information that could raise the awareness of people on certain subjects. Accordingly, to resolve the issue, researchers need to investigate whether it is really the internet that causes retention and comprehension gap, or it is merely the changing perspectives of users when it ...
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