The Internet is A Real Drug?

How much time do you spend in social networks, reading documents a day? If it’s a lot, then it’s time to check if you have become infected with the new disease of the XXI century,  digital dementia. The article describes the signs and gives advice on treatment …

Every day more and more people complain about the problems with brain activity,the increasing absent-mindedness (ie, the inability to concentrate one’s attention, gather thoughts for solving some problems), the difficulty of remembering information, the physical impossibility to read large texts , not to mention books.

And they are asked to give them something to improve brain activity in general and memory in particular. And, paradoxically, this problem is characteristic not only and not so much for the elderly, weakened by the brains which, like as, “according to age”, as for people of middle and younger middle age. At the same time, many are not even interested in why this is happening, they automatically write it off for stress, fatigue, unhealthy ecology, for the same age, etc., although all this is not even close at hand. Among patients there are those who are far 70, but who do not have any problems with either memory or brain activity. So what’s the reason?

And the reason is that, despite all the arguments, no one, categorically, wants to give up the so-called constant, round-the-clock “connection to information”. In other words, the accelerated loss of your brain functions started on the very momentous day when you decided to be constantly on-line. And it does not make any difference whether you forced yourself to do this with an official need, an exhaustion from idleness, or an elementary fear of being “not at the level”, i.e. fear of being known as a black sheep, an eccentric in the midst of their own kind.

Back in 2008, it was known that the average Internet user reads no more than 20% of the text posted on the page, and avoids large paragraphs in every possible way! Moreover, special studies have shown that a person who is constantly connected to the network does not read the text, but scans like a robot – snatches out disparate pieces of data from everywhere, constantly jumps from one place to another, and estimates the information exclusively from the “share” position, e. “Is it possible to send this” revelation “to someone?” But not for the purpose of discussing, but mainly for the purpose of causing emotions in the form of animated “belching,” accompanied by short remarks and cries in the SMS format.

In the course of the research, it turned out that the pages on the Internet, as already mentioned, are not readable, but can be scrolled through a pattern reminiscent of the Latin letter F. The user first reads the first few lines of the text content of the page (sometimes even completely, from beginning to end), then jumps to the middle of the page, where it reads a few more lines (as a rule, only partially, without reading the lines to the end), and then quickly descends to the very bottom of the page – to see “what’s the matter”.

Therefore, the most effective way of submitting information to an ordinary Internet user is to display information in the form of an inverted pyramid (that is, according to the principle “the lower, the less”) with the mandatory allocation of keywords (so that consumers of information understand what is important and what is not very) and the disclosure of not more than one thought per paragraph. This is the only way to delay the attention on the page for as long as possible. If, as we go down the page, the density of information does not decrease or, worse, it increases (as, for example, in this article), then only a few are retained on such pages.

The Internet is a real drug. And what is a drug? This is a completely useless thing, without which any person can live well until he tries. And when he tries, the dependence appears lifelong – drug addiction is not treated.

The problems with the perception of information complain people of all ranks and specialties – from highly qualified university professors to servicemen for servicing washing machines. Such complaints can be heard most often in the academic environment, ie. from those who are forced to interact closely and daily with people (teach, give lectures, take exams, etc.) – they report that the already low level of reading and perception skills of those with whom they have to work , from year to year it falls all lower and lower.

Most people have enormous difficulties in reading large texts, not to mention books. Even blog posts with the size of more than three or four paragraphs already seem to the majority too difficult and tedious for perception, and therefore boring and not deserving even an elementary understanding. It is unlikely that there will be a person who does not hear the popular network statement “too many letters – did not master”, which is usually written in response to an offer to read something longer than a couple of dozen lines. It turns out to be a vicious circle – it makes no sense to write a lot, as almost no one will read it, and a reduction in the volume of transmitted thought leads to even more scanty not only of readers but also of writers. As a result, we have what we have – mass stupor.

Even people with good (in the past) reading skills say that after a whole day of throwing on the Internet and maneuvering among dozens and hundreds of e-mails, they physically can not even start a very interesting book, since reading only one page first turns into a real torture.

Reading simply “does not go,” primarily because:

a) you can not force yourself to stop scanning the text, searching for the keywords in it

b) the complex syntax inherent in most classical, high-content or knowledge-intensive works, which is completely absent in the exchange of telegraph SMS-eructation, is not at all assimilated.

As a result, one sentence has to be re-read several times! The most outspoken people say so directly: I am disgusting myself.

But this is not all. Because of the constant connection to the Internet, such a person’s skills as an ability to return to the once-meaningful information, analyze the reading and connect the imagination are sharply deteriorating. Even worse is that in 80% of cases people go to the Internet for dubious entertainments, or they derive information that has not only zero but negative cultural value.

At the same time, most people (especially young people) are tied to their gadgets so much that when they threaten to be disconnected from the network for at least one day, they experience not only psychic depression, bordering on panic, but also real physical withdrawal resembling narcotic. Do not believe me? And now, turn off your soap dish and try to live without it for at least 2-3 days.

There is an opinion that I fully share that the ability to effectively perceive complex texts, read complex literature will soon become an elitist privilege accessible only to a special caste of people. This idea is not new, since even Umberto Eco in the novel “The Name of the Rose” offered to let only those who are able and ready to perceive complex knowledge in the library. And everyone else will be able to read only signs and Internet.

In short, no pills, no dietary supplements, no diets, no brains, etc. can not stop brain degradation. It can be stopped only by one thing: stopping the receipt of all sorts of information garbage into the processing system and daily loading of the brain with so-called “useful information”. This process is extremely complex, and for many people it is completely impossible. For many, the train, as they say, has already left.