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Infographic: The Internet is Ruining Your Brain

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 40 comments
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If you believe you are spending way too much time on the Internet this may not be an article you want to read.

According to ForensicPsychology.net, heavy Internet users are already about 2.5 times more likely to be depressed than those who stay away from it and the remaining figures the site is reporting are not helping to change that.

In a rather lengthy infographic, ForensicPsychology.net lists a collection of data how Internet usage is affecting our brain and behavior. The sheer amount of time we are spending on the Internet - the site says we are collectively using the Internet for 35 billion hours each month and 61 percent of us admit to be addicted to the Internet - causes us to consume too much information simultaneously, which results in stress and reduced thinking speed and creative ability.

Search engines such as Google are changing our learning behavior that does not necessarily train our brains. Rather than storing the actual information we are finding, we simply learn how to find that information again when we need it. The bottom line of the current trend is that the impact of the Internet reduces our brain's ability to transmit emotional, sensory, memory and speech signals by about 20 percent, ForensicPsychology.net claims.


 

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  • 23 Hide
    jellico , April 11, 2012 2:14 PM
    Yeah, whatever. The same claim was made about television, and before that radio, and before that books. Too much of anything (money, food, water, air) is not good for you. This is pretty obvious, yet people feel compelled to regurgitate it frequently in the guise of some new study. At the end of the day, it's just a bunch of people telling you that something you happen to enjoy is actually bad for you. I suspect this has been going on for most of recorded history and is really nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at control. So the Internet may be bad for me... how about this, I'll worry about my life and everyone else just worry about their own.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2012 2:12 PM
    Well... that was depressing...
  • 13 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 11, 2012 2:24 PM
    Internet feeds you a LOT of information and forces you to think more than you normally do. For most people, that results in depression because after seeing tons of new about people making millions of $$ on dumb ideas like Angry Birds, they really wish they'd do more with their lives...
Other Comments
    Display all 40 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    slicedtoad , April 11, 2012 2:06 PM
    i wouldn't be on the internet if it was good for me...
  • 6 Hide
    kingius , April 11, 2012 2:11 PM
    The warning is there. Let those intelligent enough to heed it, do so.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2012 2:12 PM
    Well... that was depressing...
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2012 2:14 PM
    The internet can be good or bad. Depending on what you do. Im sure if my local library would teach me anything about PCs, Windows 95, setting jumper switches, and AGP would be all they have :p 
  • 23 Hide
    jellico , April 11, 2012 2:14 PM
    Yeah, whatever. The same claim was made about television, and before that radio, and before that books. Too much of anything (money, food, water, air) is not good for you. This is pretty obvious, yet people feel compelled to regurgitate it frequently in the guise of some new study. At the end of the day, it's just a bunch of people telling you that something you happen to enjoy is actually bad for you. I suspect this has been going on for most of recorded history and is really nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at control. So the Internet may be bad for me... how about this, I'll worry about my life and everyone else just worry about their own.
  • 13 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 11, 2012 2:24 PM
    Internet feeds you a LOT of information and forces you to think more than you normally do. For most people, that results in depression because after seeing tons of new about people making millions of $$ on dumb ideas like Angry Birds, they really wish they'd do more with their lives...
  • 2 Hide
    dextermat , April 11, 2012 2:29 PM
    Tyler Durdun said
    Quote:
    F*** off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.


  • 11 Hide
    dotaloc , April 11, 2012 2:37 PM
    ...sounds like leaping to conclusions.

    people with depression are probably much more likely to stay at home, and what do you do at the house...sleep, eat, watch tv, and kill time on the computer.

    to draw any type of reasonable conclusion, we'd have to have a study where low/non internet users (with no depressive tendencies, or a measured number) are encouraged to increase internet time, without altering other life aspects (tough to do...less irl time, less outside activities...that extra has to come from somewhere), then the subjects need to be tested for signs of depression again in a realistic amount of time.

    the numbers here are interesting, but drawing conclusions from them is way to much guesswork without the ridiculous number of variables to consider.
  • 6 Hide
    Murissokah , April 11, 2012 2:39 PM
    It's not making us dumber, it's just our brains cloud-computing!
  • 4 Hide
    pjmelect , April 11, 2012 2:41 PM
    The Internet is for porn and wa*king does you good.
  • 4 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 11, 2012 2:41 PM
    If learning and multitasking is a bad thing that causes depression then shouldn't they criticized schools for forcing it so heavily and on such a large and extended scale?
  • 3 Hide
    stingstang , April 11, 2012 2:57 PM
    Hold on.. We are on google 7.2 billion times a day, but only search it 3 billion times?
  • 4 Hide
    jaber2 , April 11, 2012 3:00 PM
    So, All I have to do is stop using the internet and buy a book, anyone know where I can buy Google The Book? I wonder how many pages it will have.
  • 1 Hide
    drwho1 , April 11, 2012 3:01 PM
    The internet is great, OK great doesn't cut it.
    Is Awesome!

    We can have fun with it, we can also share ideas, and even learn good stuff.
    Just the other day I needed to learn how to clean an optical lens from a DVD burner,
    a few clicks... and voila!

    Now my burner works like new again!

    Pretty much anything that we can think of (or need the answer to) someone else have already posted it, and not limited to PC's, any topic, search / research / found.

    Of course there will always be people who use the internet for nefarious purposes.....
  • 5 Hide
    devBunny , April 11, 2012 3:05 PM
    :: "The Internet is for porn and wa*king does you good."

    Since when did walking become a swear word? ;o)

    Exercise is a natural antidote to depression so whether it's a good stiff walk or wa*king a good stiffy, as long as it gets you puffing and blowing for at least twenty minutes, it's going to help. ;-)
  • 7 Hide
    dark_lord69 , April 11, 2012 3:09 PM
    I used the internet back in 94 when less than 10% of people used it. I've been using it for years and sure I don't feel the need to retain some things but I DO retain other things. For example... I've learned a lot here at Tomshardware over the years about CPU and GPU proformance. Because of the internet I know that a Core i7 is better than any AMD processor. Also, who really memorizes the exact details of something they don't care about? The big broad highlight is all I really wanted to know in the first place. If you are interested you will remember. I wrote a whole report on the biochemistry of love and 100% of that report came from the internet and I could go on and on about all the details because I find it interesting.

    Also, I'm not depressed, I'm actually a pretty happy-go-lucky person (I get sick of all the depressed people in this country though, seems like everyone is taking some medication cause they are sad for what seems like no reason).

    You think it's the heavy internet usage that makes these people depressed? OR perhaps they are social outcasts that are already depressed and use the internet because they are depressed or because they are social outcasts.

    Personally I spend a lot of time reading on the internet. I don't like Facebook and visit about once every 3 months or less. There is a lot of mindless activity that goes on, on the internet (Pintrest) but it's not all bad and this logic they've provided is filled with holes.
  • 5 Hide
    jdwii , April 11, 2012 3:17 PM
    This is total crap, It depends on what you do, Sorry but for a lot of people who are not social they open a bit online, Also what else do these people want others to do, Their results seem to be as accurate as their lame Picture they had 3rd graders make.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2012 3:40 PM
    I think what's really hurting my brain is this neon green text on neon blue background. Who's dumb idea was that?
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2012 4:03 PM
    "We get stressed out and are unable to problem-solve"
    Studies also show that browsing the internet every so often at work relieves stress and actually helps people work better. Also, people can have multiple programs open/do multiple things at the same time at work without the Internet.

    "creative ability dimishes"
    Searching the internet might actually stimulate your creative ability. Easily seeing what other people thought of or have done may help you with your own ideas or help improve an already existing one. Cuz well... you probably don't have a unique idea anyway. Maybe the Internet is not dimishing creativity. Maybe it's showing us that we aren't as creative/unique as we think we are.

    "Google is replacing our brains"
    Okay. This is real dumb.
    First, if you're constantly googling the same thing, it'll stick in your head whether you like it or not.
    Second, you can still remember things you've read only once. It just depends on the type of person and how well he or she remembers things. Googling it versus reading a reference book or something doesn't really make a difference.
    Third, with how easy it is to google things, you are probably learning things you wouldn't have cared to look up before.
    I would argue that Google (wikipedia too) is actually helping us learn more than we ever cared to learn.

    "If google were to explode, so would our memories"
    Only the stuff we didn't deem important to remember. I'd still know how to do my work and get through everyday life. It would take a bit longer to find answers to questions you don't normally ask, but that's about it.

    "Facebook: avg 245, we know 73.2%, only hang out with 4%"
    There are different levels of friends. You can't just assume that everyone I'm friends with on Facebook is my bestest friend in the world. Some you're just acquaintances with and you want to keep in contact somewhat. This is better than jsut exchanging emails or phone numbers because this opens up interaction via posts and comments from one of the people that wasn't necessarily directed towards the other, like posting a neat article. He likes the article or comments and BAM there's more interaction than there ever would have been without Facebook. Maybe this helps them develop their friendship.
    What about penpals? So I have to pysically hang out with someone to be friends with them? What about all my college friends that live in completely different places but still want to talk to?
    I'm pretty sure this also doesn't take into account fake profiles and such.

    "Heavy internet users are 2.5 more likely to be depressesed"
    Maybe it's because we have access to everything that's going on outside of where we live and what the news cares to share with us. Maybe all the stuff going on outside our bubble depresses us because we get to see humanity more often. Maybe it's because all the non-internet users are just blissfully ignorant of technology and the way the world is going.
  • 1 Hide
    Marco925 , April 11, 2012 4:12 PM
    All those hours spent on wikipedia are BAD for me?
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