I Was Gonna Title This But Then I Clicked That Other Link and Now I Lost Focus

Let’s talk about What the Internet is doing to our brains.

Ironically, as I was watching the video, I looked away at my television screen, where Bruce Almighty was playing (Love that movie!), and then I couldn’t remember that one scary/thriller movie Jim Carrey was in that really changed my whole perspective on him, so I opened IMDb and of course, discovered it was The Number 23. But gosh, do you even remember what the Number 23 was about? Well, I could not, so I opened the synopsis. Oh man, but wait! Jim Carrey was in A Series of Unfortunate Events! Remember that? He was Count Olaf! Aw man, what were the names of those three kids? They had such awful lives. Oh right, I think after opening the movie page, it was Klaus, Violet, and Sunny. But then, that has me thinking about the movie, of course, so I have to look up the movie trailer on YouTube. Duh. There were twelve books to that series, right? It doesn’t matter. Google will tell me. Oh, I lied. According to Wikipedia, there were thirteen. Just a second. I have to check that text message I just received. Oh man, what was I even doing to begin with?

…And that’s what the Internet is doing to our brains. Or at least, my brain. True story, by the way.

Towards the end of Epipheo’s video, they take the character to the operating room and assimilate him with computer parts. Oddly enough, I related to that. And then, I thought about it deeply, and it makes obvious sense that I would. After all, what do I spend most of my days attached to? My laptop. And when I’m not on the laptop, I am glued to my phone because what else can I possibly do with my life other than spend my days on the Internet/social media? Funny enough, I have days where computers give me awful headaches. So, I read… for all of five minutes before I have to look at my phone again because the Internet has meddled with my brain so much that I can no longer look at an interesting book for five minutes. Like Mark O’Connell, I have become a promiscuous reader.

Apparently, however, I am a promiscuous browser too.

For as long as I can remember, I can no longer have one tab open on the web. If I am doing my homework, I suddenly remember I have to update my to-do list, and then oh wait, I forgot to email my residents about some event tonight, and whoops, maybe I should respond to those emails from my supervisor, so on and so forth. It is a sick cycle, and it is slowly ruining my ability to focus. How many times have you sat down to write a paper, written a paragraph, and then felt an urge to take a “break”? AKA peruse your phone or your Facebook timeline for a half hour. I have way too many times, and it is awful, and much like the character in the the video, I do feel like my computer and I are becoming one. But how can we possibly unattach ourselves from these machines when as Greg Downey posits, we create our images on them, we market ourselves to future employers on them?

Is it possible to remove machines from our lives and be human again, or is this a human-computer transformation we have to grow used to?

It sounds terrible, I know, and as we have mentioned multiple times in the course, there are numerous benefits to having access to the Internet, but we cannot forget the disadvantages.

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1 Response to I Was Gonna Title This But Then I Clicked That Other Link and Now I Lost Focus

  1. It’s so true. As an internet dependent society; our attention spans are becoming shorter, social and communication skills (in person) are lacking and we’re becoming more or less a race of cyborgs.
    My son was watching an episode of one of his favorite shows in which the characters lose wifi, cell reception and cable due to a severe thunderstorm. Although it may have been a fictitious account of what happens when technology goes, it was pretty accurate. The kids (of the TV show) didn’t know what to do or how to interact with one another. They soon began bickering because they couldn’t manage to entertain themselves without technology.

    Have you ever tried deactivating your FB account or Instagram or Twitter? I’ve deactivated my FB several times for months on end. I know it may sound a little corny, but it made me feel more human to do it. I wasn’t wasting time scrolling through my news feed, commenting on “cute puppy videos” or feeling the need to constantly browse through my phone. Oh wait, this picture is on FB. Which reminds me of this picture that was on Instagram. Oh snap, it was on some photography page. Which reminds me, I have to message my cousin (who happens to be a photographer) to see how she’s doing after having her baby. Baby. Crap! My son has a parent/teacher conference this Friday. Which reminds me, I have to check my email for class assignments.

    The internet is turning our minds (some not all, but mine for sure) into frantic, little, ping-pongs–bouncing with super speed from one topic to another with goldfish-like attention span. I find that even in verbal (face to face) conversation, my thought processes will sometimes jump from topic to topic. Before I know it, I’ve completely forgotten what my original point was and I’ve gone off on about three or four diverging tangents. Wait, what was I saying again?

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