The digital age has already dramatically transformed the way we work, shop and access entertainment. But many scientists believe it is also having an impact on our behaviour.
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing to Our Brains believes that the internet could be re-wiring our brains, providing us with so much information that we are losing the ability to concentrate.
It is not all bad news, however. The internet is also giving us new skills such as information gathering and analytical skills, which may help us in the workplace.
It is also helping to generate more jobs, including those directly linked such as online marketing, software engineering and web designers, including rycomarketing.ie who provide web design in Dublin.
The internet is changing our behaviour in a number of ways, We socialise online, makes friends differently and the skills we are in danger of losing will be replaced with new ones. Here we take a look at some of the ways the digital age could be having an impact on our lives:
We develop friendships differently
The latest smartphone apps will alert you when there are people close by with the same interests.
Your circle of friends may expand, but they will be drawn from a smaller cross section of society. This could mean we are less exposed to people with different interests or beliefs.
We socialise differently
The digital generation socialise differently. People communicate by text and on social media and skills such as reading facial expressions and eye contact or learning how to navigate social situations may be lost. We may be in danger of creating an environment for the next generation where basic social skills relating to body language become redundant.
Our memory is deteriorating
According to recent research some of us can’t even remember our own phone number. The digitisation of our contact books means that contact details are ready to access and we no longer need to memorise phone numbers or addresses. Sat navs are destroying our ability to map read.
We procrastinate more
Being online encourages procrastination. Although this can’t be blamed entirely on the internet, it is easy to get stuck on Facebook, YouTube or texting, when you should be working or writing that essay.
Video games are teaching us new skills
According to Forbes video games are good for our health. Tests showed that people who played first person shooters showed ‘faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities.’ These skills are comparable to those developed in formal courses designed to teach the same skills. Another study found that one hour each day on a Nintendo Wii a day improved the surgical performance of Italian Medical Students.
The digital age has transformed us all. As mobile technology evolves, our time spent on the internet increases which has an impact on our behaviour. While it is not all bad news, we could be losing out on those essential social skills that we have developed since the evolution of man.