There is no doubt that the digital age has come with it’s pros- people can have a sense of belonging to any community, regardless of where they live, and digital imaging has allowed us to transform anything we have and put it online. We have a deeper connection to our friends’ lives as we can see a portion of their everyday life, and some of us even make new friends entirely on the internet. Nowadays, if something happens in the world- news travels fast. All it takes is a tweet made by someone who is on scene, and then it’s broadcasted to the world. With humans so interconnected by the internet now, how has this impacted us?
Back when Googling was not the common practice to learn about something, you had to read and find the information yourself, be it from a textbook or an encyclopedia. Now, a good portion of our knowledge is transactional. This means our understanding is not as deep as it once had to be, because we know we can access this information at a later date, from another person, or the internet. In a study made by the European Journal of Neurosciences in 2015, they found that individuals who were tasked to search for specific information online gathered the information faster than those using printed encyclopedias, but were in turn less able to recall the information they found accurately.
The hyper-connectivity of world events has also impacted how we process and react to information that comes our way. Before, traditional news stations would report on important national stories, in addition to a few local segments. When something important happened, we had the time and emotional space to take it in and think about it. With the speed at which international news is delivered to us now, we are confronted with so many new stories that the severity of them does not affect us the same way they used to before. Unfortunately, with the frequency in which school shootings happen in the US, although we can recognize how awful each news story is, we have become desensitized by the sheer volume of news we are inundated with. Now more than ever, it’s important to put your phone down for a moment and take a deep, long breath.
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