We Should Be Aware Of How Our Use Of Technology Has Changed

Nicholas Carr says that our brains are plastic and repeated behaviors result in altered brain structure (27). He argues that our use of the Internet is changing our brains, causing us to process information differently (38). As a society, we could benefit from being conscious of the behaviors that shape our brains and our thoughts.

Like Carr suggests the Internet is one of the causes of a few undesirable traits, such as short attention span, poor memory and a decreased ability to read long or complicated prose. While these traits may not be present in all Internet users, the Internet has made them more prevalent. Since our brains are ‘plastic,’ we are not stuck with these negative traits forever. If we intentionally reintroduce behaviors that exercise those neural pathways, we can change our thought processes.

Some people may not want to exert the effort required to achieve this level of self-awareness, but for those who think this a worthwhile task, the result could be greater control over one’s own mind. Consciousness of the way we are changing our brains through behavior could help us intentionally reintroduce behaviors into our lives so that we do not lose traits that we wish to keep. We could also use this practice to develop traits that we want to have, but never had.