Friday, February 12, 2010

Heavy internet use affects teenager's ability to concentrate

Internet rewiring youngsters' brains reports:

Students are losing the ability to study properly because constant internet use is "rewiring" their brains, researchers have claimed.
Experts believe the internet encourages users to dart from page to page, rather than concentrating on one source such as a book.
Described as "associative" thinking, researchers believe it is reducing youngsters' capacity to read and write at length because their minds are being remoulded to function differently.
A survey designed to examine the internet's impact on the brain examined how 100 12 to 18-year-olds responded to a series of questions requiring some form of research.
They discovered that most of the respondents gave their answers after looking at just half the number of web pages older people examined.
They also found that younger people took far less time to research their answers and were therefore less thorough.


The article concludes with this painful account:

Dr David Runciman, political scientist at Cambridge University, added: ''What I notice about students from the first day they arrive at university is that they ask nervously,? What do we have to read?
''When they are told the first thing they have to read is a book, they all now groan, which they didn't use to do five or 10 years ago.
''You say, 'Why are you groaning?' and they say, 'It's a book. How long is it?'
''Books are still at the heart of what it means to be educated and to try to educate. The generation of students I teach see books as peripheral.''


Janine can confirm this, but my impression is our daughters spend one to two hours a day on the internet. Often my daughters will reach for a book, especially the younger two.

Technorati tags: parenting, children, education

1 comment:

kat said...

I have had to completly cut off internet access to my children (11,10,7...) because everytime I turned around they were playing games. They were sneaking, lying, being rude about it so I just took off their account and log off everytime I walk away. This week they are back to reading, playing games, and playing with their younger siblings.