The Internet’s Effect On Human Behavior

The Internet has allowed us to get the knowledge we seek in a more efficient manner than in the past. Our behavior patterns are adapting to fit this fast paced world the Internet has created.

The Internet is simply enhancing the information we already know and making information more accessible. In “Get Smarter,” Jamais Cascio claims, “We don’t have to rely solely on natural evolutionary processes to boost our intelligence. We can do it ourselves.” We learn and we grow because it’s part of the world we live in.   The Internet supports this idea by offering a wealth of information at our fingertips: this is changing our behavior, personality, and habits. However, there are some who prefer the old while others prefer the new; which is the same as tradition or innovation. In earlier generations different references were used for specific topics: books were used for research, newspapers for current events, etc. However, the Internet provides all of these references at one time.

Behaviorist, Abraham Maslow, said, “ If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” We resort to the Internet in the same manner; it’s the first “tool” we think to use when searching for anything. Maslow also claims that, “If you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first…thirst is a ‘stronger’ need than hunger.” As a society we’ve become so accustomed to using the Internet that we’ve grown dependent on it, choosing this fast paced source over the traditional method of looking through a book. This results in a behavior change because we expect things to come to us so rapidly that we’ve grown antsy. In Kim Krause Berg’s article “The Impact of the Internet on Human Behavior (third door media, July 19th 2009) Linda Stone, a technology leader, is quoted saying, “We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter.” The Internet gives us the ability to search for information at lightning speed and fulfills our need to get word done faster and more efficiently.

Some may argue that it is this speedy process that’s taking away from our brainpower: Nicholas Carr claims in “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” that the Internet is “rewiring our brains.” This does not prove true because our brains are not being rewired if we’re choosing to use the Internet over a book. However the Internet is “rewiring” our behavior through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. It has become natural for us to talk to family and friends over the Internet but it has also become an outlet for cyberbullying. In the March 30th, 2008 article of the New York Times,“Cracking Down on The Cyberbullying,” Juli Charkes states “Name-calling, popularity contests and general mean-spiritedness have long been a part of adolescence. But today’s electronic version provides anonymity and a breadth of distribution that can imbue seemingly innocuous remarks with a far more potent impact; the Journal of Adolescent Health report said electronic aggression is directly linked to a range of difficulties, including behavioral problems at home and at school.” This shows the negative effects the Internet has on our behavior: because we’re not face-to-face with the people we’re communicating with, we are more inclined to say whatever we want without thinking about the consequences.

When we created language, we increased our memory. We adapted to the words we created and learned to use them in everyday life. As a parallel, its happening with the internet. Once books were made, it was only a matter of time before they made it to the continuously growing internet. In this continuously growing and developing country, it was only a matter of time before schools and libraries made printed goods available online. To use another example, which is closely related to students, our Comp 1 class has a blog titled, “The Last Newspaper.” In the beginning of the year our Professor, David Hodges, explained to us the evolution of the Internet and theoretically how everything is becoming technological. Books became available online and we as a society learned to adapt to it. We learned how to use an online newspaper, such as the New York Times, to find answer and information.  At the beginning of the semester we were asked to order the New York Times which we would use as our text book, but as the semester went on most students resorted to the New York Times webpage as their source. Even though we received the newspaper, we are so used to the fast pace of the internet that we chose to use the online version instead. This choice is completely behavioral; we just expect quicker results versus sitting down and finding the time to read through a book or a newspaper.

Our behavior has altered to meet the guidelines of society: we yearn to have information more readily available and as result have grown dependent on the Internet. We look to the Internet for solutions to the problems we need answers to; whether the problems are positive or negative, our behavior is being influenced by the anonymity the Internet provides us. As the world continues to introduce new technologies, our behavior will continue to change.

Works Cited

1. Begley, Sharon and Interlandi, Jeneen. “The Dumbest Generation? Don’t Be Dumb.” Newsweek. Vol. 151 Issue 22, June 2, 2008, p42-44. EBSCO Publishing Service

2. Boeree, Dr. C. George. “Abraham Maslow.” Copyright 1998,2006. Personality Theories.

3. Charkes, Juli. “Cracking Down on The Cyberbullying.” 30 March 2008. The New York Times.

4. Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. July/August, 2008

5. Cascio, Jamais. “Get Smarter.” The Atlantic. July/August, 2009.

6. Krause Berg, Kim. “The Impact of the Internet on Human Behavior.” 19 June 2009. Third World Media

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This entry was posted in Alexa Valenti, Alicia DiPietro, Courtney Steer, Kaitlin Kemp, Portfolio, Rachel Fabian. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Internet’s Effect On Human Behavior

  1. Alicia DiPietro says:

    Hey,
    Theres one paragraph I think we need to reword becasue we say “you” a lot in it but I can fix that in class if someone brings their computer!

  2. courtneysteer5 says:

    I went back and took out all the “yous” so hopefully it sounds better now! :)

  3. rfabian13 says:

    “Books in the past only came in printed books” i think we should edit this to something like printed form and not repeat book all over again…

  4. courtneysteer5 says:

    I went back and changed it.. sounds alot better now, thanks!

  5. davidbdale says:

    Just one argument note I picked up in a random read-through: “Carr states in his essay that the internet is “rewiring our brains.” If this were true, then the only thing people would rely on is the internet. Although the number is minimal, people today will still read a book rather then looking online.”

    My question is, how would book readers get rewired? Unless they do a lot of reading on the internet, wouldn’t they be immune to the insidious rewiring effect, and therefore still likely to pick up books? In other words, book readers don’t prove anything.

  6. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Babez! OK so far, but plenty of work left to do.

    Intro: “our minds are changing behavior, not our thinking”? Huh? Our behavior is changing, not our thinking? Maybe. Our minds are changing our thinking? I don’t think I can comprehend that. It’s essential that your thesis statement be crystal clear, and this one’s not.

    2. Diving right in to this example about international competition for market share is very disconcerting. Unless your essay is about commerce, you need to begin with something closer to the central argument; not to mention, nothing in the introduction prepares for this paragraph. The attempt to connect market competition with students after the fact feels forced and tacked-on.

    3. The two strong references in this paragraph are valuable and essential to your argument. The material that connects them is not strong enough to make the connections clear, however. You cannot rely on the quoted material to do the arguing.

    4. I do not understand this paragraph at all. These sentences in particular leave me guessing: “We still have that preference of old and new which is the same as tradition or innovation. It is all a matter of choice and what one personally likes.” If all you mean to say is young people don’t care about history, then I don’t see how technology is “reshaping our personality.”

    5. There’s an important argument here you only point at. Without an example or any evidence, readers have no way to know what you mean by adapting, either to words or to the internet.

    6. This spends far too many words on a very simple idea. The internet is like a library in our homes, open 24 hours a day. (The rest of it, the whole narrative about parents and kids and the car and the weather, serves no purpose I can see.) But are you sure this doesn’t change the way we think about information? We had to remember a few things, or make notes, when the only way to check our memories involved a trip to the library? The transition to other internet uses (keeping in touch with friends) is awkward.

    7. OK. We’ve always been distracted. The internet is not to blame for kids putting off their homework; kids are. Tighten up these sentences, please, and eliminate most of the vague pronouns. One sentence opens with “This” and mixes in another “this” and an “it” before getting started. Your simple point should be stated simply.

    8. I counted half a dozen grammar errors before I stopped counting. Again, please eliminate the This clauses and It references whenever possible, which is almost always. I will be glad to help if you don’t understand how or why. The logic of your refutation of Carr is not very compelling. It might as well say: Carr says “cats are better than dogs,” which turns out not to be true, because cats aren’t better than dogs at barking.

    The reason this essay and its conclusion sound so vague and unfocused is that you haven’t given your opposition enough credit. Readers have no idea what Carr said in his essay because you’ve told them so little about it. You don’t mention the primary source until the 8th paragraph, you don’t name it anywhere, and you quote only three words of it. Believe me, your essay would be much more convincing if it had a strong opponent you could refute point for point. As it stands, we don’t know what you’re arguing against, besides the vague idea that our “thoughts are changing.”

  7. Alicia DiPietro says:

    For our thesis I think we should change to something similar to what Professor suggested. Also we need to add some details outlining what were going to cover in the essay. Maybe something like: the internet is like survival of the fittest, we have to adapt in order to live. We are enhancing our knowlege with the internet by being able to get information at a faster pace. There is no brain change occuring with gathering information at a faster pace. We are adapting to a technilogical world, our minds are keeping up with the changes and our behavior changes with it.
    I think if we add something like that to the intro and fix the things he said we should be good..if you bring your laptop monday I can make some changes in class too!

    Have a good weekend

  8. kkempy says:

    I’m titling this ” The Internet’s effects on Human Behavior”.

  9. alexavalenti says:

    Works Cited

    Cascio, Jamais. “Get Smarter.” The Atlantic. July/August, 2009.

    Begley, Sharon and Interlandi, Jeneen. “The Dumbest Generation? Don’t Be Dumb.” Newsweek. Vol. 151 Issue 22, June 2, 2008, p42-44. EBSCO Publishing Service

    Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. July/August, 2008

    ..those are the only ones I have for the works cited I think we might need one more.

  10. kkempy says:

    Here’s what we did so far:

    The Internet has allowed us to get the knowledge we seek in a more efficient manner than in the past. Our behavior patterns are adapting to fit this fast paced world the Internet has created.
    The Internet is simply enhancing the information we already know and making information more accessible. In “Get Smarter,” Jamais Cascio claims, “We don’t have to rely solely on natural evolutionary processes to boost our intelligence. We can do it ourselves.” We learn and we grow because it’s part of the world we live in; the Internet supports this idea by offering a wealth of information at our fingertips: this is changing our behavior, personality, and habits. However, there are some who prefer the old while others prefer the new; which is the same as tradition or innovation. In earlier generations different references were used for specific topics: books were used for research, newspapers for current events, etc. However, the Internet provides all of these references at one time.
    Behaviorist, Abraham Maslow, said, “ If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” We resort to the Internet in the same manner; it’s the first “tool” we think to use when searching for anything. Maslow also claims that, “If you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first…thirst is a ‘stronger’ need than hunger.” As a society we’ve become so accustomed to using the Internet that we’ve grown dependent on it, choosing this fast paced source over the traditional method of looking through a book. This results in a behavior change because we expect things to come to us so rapidly that we’ve become antsy.
    Nicholas Carr claims in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” that the Internet is “rewiring our brains.” This does not prove true because it our brains are not being rewired if we choose to use the Internet rather then a book. There are databases that libraries use that are online encyclopedias and books; there may be one book copy if any at the library. Online, every student can use the databases to their advantage. It is not a rewiring of our brains if we ultimately choose to use the Internet.

  11. courtneysteer5 says:

    I read through this and tweaked the Carr paragraph a little and added another, but I’m not sure if it helps our point. could one of you read it and let me know? thanks!

    Nicholas Carr claims in his article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” that the Internet is “rewiring our brains.” This statement does not prove to be true because our brains are not being rewired if we choose to use the Internet rather then a book. Schools and libraries offer databases online which include online encyclopedias and books. Every student can use this online source to their advantage because it is unlimited, whereas in a library there may be one book copy, if any, available. It is not rewiring our brains if we ultimately choose to use the Internet.

    When we created language, we increased our memory. We adapted to the words we created and learned to use them in everyday life. As a parallel, it is the same thing with the internet. Once books were made, it was only a matter of time before they made it to the continuously growing internet. For example, books and printed goods, such as newspapers, were often the main source of obtaining information. In this continuos growing and developing country, it was only a matter of time before schools and libraries made these sources available online. To use another example, which is closely related to students, our Comp 1 class has a blog titled, “The Last Newspaper.” In the beginning of the year our Professor, David Hodges, explained to us the evolution of the Internet and theoretically how everything was becoming technological. Books became available online and we as a society learned to adapt to it. We learned how to us a search engine, such as Google, to find answers and information. However, the manner in which we go about finding this information is still completely behavioral. We just expect quicker results versus sitting down and finding the time to read through a book.

  12. kkempy says:

    I think if we’re going to have this paragraph come after the Carr one we definitely have to have them flow into each other.

    In the first one I feel like we need to expand more about how its not rewiring our brains but our behavior: don’t just give an example but a specific source that shares this idea.

    I’m working on another essay right now for my class tomorrow… If I can I’ll try to take breaks and get back to this one.

    Thanks for adding stuff Courtney :) And I would say go ahead and edit what we’ve got into the actual post, just so it’s there

  13. courtneysteer5 says:

    that is exactly what i was thinking about the flow, when i wrote it, i put it on another page because i was hoping something would just click as a transition haha, hopefully one of us can come up with a good transition into it! and yeah the carr one definitely needs a specific source so i’ll try to work one into that, but thank you for reading them! and i’ll add them in after a little bit more tweaking and stuff like that, thanks again! :)

  14. davidbdale says:

    I love watching this group work things out!

  15. kkempy says:

    So I’ve been doing more research and have found some more things to support our side: We could talk about cyber bullying and how the Internet changes our behavior in that way (we’re more inclined to say things over the Internet because we’re not face to face with one another).

    I also found a quote that supports our idea of wanting to find things quicker… I have to run to dinner but I just wanted to post to see if this will generate any more ideas from everyone so we can tackle this bad boy!

    Thanks ladiez :)

    • davidbdale says:

      I’d just like to say, Kaitlin, cyberbullying is an excellent example of a disastrous consequence of the impersonal nature of internet communication. It must be much harder to bully a victim in person, while a “drive-by” anonymous post makes it WAY too easy to do somebody irreparable harm.

  16. Alicia DiPietro says:

    For the paragraph about our blog, after you talk about using search engines, we could say something like: At the begining of the semester we were asked to order the New York Times which we would use as our text book, but as the semester went on most students resorted to the New York Times webpage as their source. Even though many of us receieved the newspaper we are so used to the fast pace of the internet that we chose to use the online version instead. This choice is completely behavioral; we just expect quicker results versus sitting down and finding the time to read through a book or a newspaper.
    For Kailins idea about cyberbulling we could start with something like: The Internet is not only good for getting information faster, but it also allows us to keep in touch with people all over the world with the touch of a button. We use the Internet for social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. These sites give us the opportunity to talk to family and friends in different states and countries. It has become natural for us to talk to people over the Internet and it has also created cyberbullying. While cyberbullying is negative, it shows how the Internet is changing our bahvior. “Were more inclined to say things over the Internet because were not face to face with one another.” Teens are more likely to bully over the Internet because it is easier and faster. They get the same results of making someone else feel bad with out even having to truely talk to them. This new way of bullying isn’t due to a brain change or a rewiring of our brain, it is simply a behavior change. The Internet has created a new world for us, allowing us to not only get information faster, but also talk to people half way around the world.

  17. courtneysteer5 says:

    AHHH such a good idea Kaitlin! and I like how you worded it Alicia! I think it’ll make our essay stronger :)

  18. kkempy says:

    Behaviorist, Abraham Maslow, said, “ If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” We resort to the Internet in the same manner; it’s the first “tool” we think to use when searching for anything. Maslow also claims that, “If you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first…thirst is a ‘stronger’ need than hunger.” As a society we’ve become so accustomed to using the Internet that we’ve grown dependent on it, choosing this fast paced source over the traditional method of looking through a book. This results in a behavior change because we expect things to come to us so rapidly that we’ve grown antsy. In Kim Krause Berg’s article “The Impact of the Internet on Human Behavior (third door media, july 19th 2009) Linda Stone, a technology leader, is quoted saying, “We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter.” The Internet gives us the ability to search for information at lightning speed and fulfills our need to get word done faster and more efficiently.

    Some may argue that it is this speedy process that’s taking away from our brainpower: Nicholas Carr claims in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” that the Internet is “rewiring our brains.” This does not prove true because our brains are not being rewired if we’re choosing to use the Internet over a book. However the Internet is “rewiring” our behavior through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. It has become natural for us to talk to family and friends over the Internet but it has also become an outlet for cyberbullying. In the March 30th, 2008 article of the New York Times,“Cracking Down on The Cyberbullying” Juli Charkes states “Name-calling, popularity contests and general mean-spiritedness have long been a part of adolescence. But today’s electronic version provides anonymity and a breadth of distribution that can imbue seemingly innocuous remarks with a far more potent impact; the Journal of Adolescent Health report said electronic aggression is directly linked to a range of difficulties, including behavioral problems at home and at school.” This shows the negative effects the Internet has on our behavior: because we’re not face-to-face with the people we’re communicating with, we are more inclined to say whatever we want without thinking about the consequences.

  19. kkempy says:

    Add to Works Cited:

    Charkes, Juli. “Cracking Down on The Cyberbullying.” 30 March 2008. The New York Times.

    Krause Berg, Kim. “The Impact of the Internet on Human Behavior” 19 July 2009. Third World Media.

  20. courtneysteer5 says:

    When we created language, we increased our memory. We adapted to the words we created and learned to use them in everyday life. As a parallel, its happening with the internet. Once books were made, it was only a matter of time before they made it to the continuously growing internet. For example, books and printed goods, such as newspapers, were often the main source of obtaining information. In this continuously growing and developing country, it was only a matter of time before schools and libraries made these sources available online. To use another example, which is closely related to students, our Comp 1 class has a blog titled, “The Last Newspaper.” In the beginning of the year our Professor, David Hodges, explained to us the evolution of the Internet and theoretically how everything was becoming technological. Books became available online and we as a society learned to adapt to it. We learned how to use a search engine, such as the New York Times webpage, to find answers and information. At the beginning of the semester we were asked to order the New York Times which we would use as our text book, but as the semester went on most students resorted to the New York Times webpage as their source. Even though many of us received the newspaper we are so used to the fast pace of the internet that we chose to use the online version instead. This choice is completely behavioral; we just expect quicker results versus sitting down and finding the time to read through a book or a newspaper.

  21. kkempy says:

    Our behavior has altered to meet the guidelines of society: we yearn to have information more readily available and as result have grown dependent on the Internet. We look to the Internet for solutions to the problems we need answers to; whether or not the problems are positive or negative, our behavior is being influenced by the anonymity the Internet provides us. As the world continues to introduce new technologies, our behavior will continue to change.

  22. davidbdale says:

    Wow, Babez, this Portfolio version is barely recognizable as the same essay you first posted. Congratulations on a significant rewrite and a considerable improvement in your grade as well.

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