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A Simple Cure to the Web’s Disruptive Effect on Your Concentration | LiveScience

June 4

The Internet is rerouting pathways in our brains, researchers say, pushing aside the attentive mind of the book reader in favor of the distracted mind of the screen watcher. Author Nicholas Carr thinks that awareness may be the antidote to this Faustian swap.

Carr’s new book, “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” charts this technological and neurological  upheaval and how it favors a scanning, skimming and jumping around mode of thought over linear thinking and deep attentiveness.  The problem, he told TechNewsDaily, is that this brand of thinking dovetails nicely with our natural inclinations as humans.

“Psychological studies show we have an enormous desire for new information and we have an enormous desire to be socially connected,” he said. “The Web plays to our desire to be inundated with information, particularly small bits of information. We’re not adapting to this medium against our will.”

There’s an irony in this, Carr says, because books were the original disruptive technology, forcing our ancestors to shift their focus from the spoken word to the printed page and a mode of thinking that encouraged the sustained attention reading requires.

The kind of thinking encouraged by the barrage of sights and sounds offered online takes us back to a simpler time for our species. “In some ways, the Internet returns us to a more natural, native form of information gathering,” he said. “The human brain formed at a time when you wanted to be distracted. You wanted to shift your attention constantly in order to be aware of threats in the environment or a bush that has some edible berries on it.”

Full Article: A Simple Cure to the Web’s Disruptive Effect on Your Concentration | LiveScience.

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