Ironically, we are criticizing the internet by posting an article on the internet! But, it seems like there’s no better way. Even since the internet has started to spread, many people have been worried about it. Our parents used to limit our time on the internet when we were younger. They constantly warned us about the dangers of the internet. However, their concern was just an extension of their fear of TV. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize the full weight of the damage to the internet. Now, the internet is breaking their brains more than it did for us.
How is the internet affecting our brains?
With the advent of the internet and social media, the internet has become a virtual world that seems to be separate from our physical world. This virtual world seems to be dragging people more and more to its seemingly infinite landscapes. People are now trapped in the cyber world, some more than others, and this has some negative effects. The Internet makes us less capable of concentrating and contemplating. The bombarding amount of data from the internet keeps our minds stimulated and hungry for more.
The internet targets our brain circuitry that controls pleasure and motivation. It gives us instant gratification constantly, which makes us more motivated to use it more.
Why the boomers are endangered by the internet more than other generations?
It seems that the majority of the boomers didn’t use the internet in the earlier years because it seemed complicated for them. However, with the advent of websites, apps, and technologies like smartphones, for example, boomers have started to find out that using the internet is a lot easy than they think.
However, the problem with them is that they have low digital literacy, which makes them prone to be manipulated easily by the internet. For example, the boomers don’t understand that YouTube is using algorithms to keep them locked on their screens by suggesting hundreds of videos to them.
Another example is the way boomers use Facebook and Whatsapp. Have you ever noticed the posts of boomers or the messages they share on Whatsapp? We’re sure you did! They are as cringy as they are false. And the problem is that all the boomers accept that information and share it on their own.
Most of the information targets them in a way that makes them kind of addicted to it. And the problem with the boomers is that they accept that information without verification. The latter issue makes them have false beliefs and strange conspiracy theories. This builds anxieties about the real world and makes the internet seem safer, which drags them more to it.
The internet is manipulating us!
Saying that ‘the internet is manipulating people’ is not the same as saying ‘people use the internet to manipulate people.” It seems like we created the internet, and it evolved into something beyond our control. The internet feeds on people’s minds and attention through constantly streaming information. The infinite amount of videos, pictures, and texts keep people locked on their screens, and not able to concentrate on anything else.
The internet is breaking communication!
Although it might seem like the internet has made communication a lot easy and possible where it wasn’t possible before, the truth is far from that.
The internet has created for each one of us a safe zone where we can hide from the world. Many people surround themselves with only the sort of information that they agree with and the people who agree with them. However, communication is an act of updating our knowledge and thus ourselves. A person cannot truly communicate with others if they all agree with him/her. The act of communication requires stepping out from our comfort zones, which is a hurtful thing most of the time.
How the boomers are affected by fake news on the internet?
The boomers are affected by this problem more than other generations, especially now after the pandemic of COVID-19. This pandemic has created the opportunity for fake news to circulate more than ever across the internet, which made the boomers more paranoid about the real world. Thus, they regressed more into the insides of their homes where they can just sit and scroll their phones the whole day because it’s the safest place. This has created more internet addiction among them and made them unwilling to have human communication outside the cyber world.
Our point from this post is not about scaring people from the internet. Instead, we aim at making people more aware of the consequences of this medium on us as humans. Aside from making our concentration and ability to contemplate weaker and weaker, the internet is also creating more distance between us, making us unable of real communication that requires stepping outside our comfort zones.