Thanks to our brains’ neuroplasticity, our brains dump the information we consume online. Our long-term memory, according to Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, directly affects our intelligence. And it’s suffering. Why should our brains store information if we can just google it?
And It’s not just our long-term memories that are at risk either. A 2015 Microsoft Canada consumer insight report says that the average attention span decreased from twelve seconds in 2000 to nine seconds in 2015. The report compares the average human attention span in 2015 to that of a goldfish!
In the report, Microsoft assures its audience, advertisers, that “it’s not as bad as you think” but later states, “Long-term focus erodes with increased digital consumption, social media usage, and tech savviness.” Regardless, the internet is a fact of life in 2018. Most of us have to use the internet for work. Our kids use the internet at school. And for better or worse, the internet is here to stay. So how do we live with technology without sacrificing our brains? In The Shallows, Carr offers a few suggestions.