As with most things, the benefits from computers and technology is all about balance.
From an article in The Independent – What the web is teaching our brains, a list of activities and the benefits each provides.
- Internet research: Boosts the ability to integrate and process information as well as enhancing decision-making skills.
- General browsing: Encourages the use of continuous partial attention and multi-tasking, which can impair cognition and cause irritability
- Playing computer games: May improve multi-tasking skills, memory and peripheral vision. Can lead to antisocial behaviour.
- Building a blog or website: Building a blog or your own website improves frontal lobe function, reasoning and memory.
- Sorting email: Boosts information-processing functions in the brain’s frontal lobe. Can also cause stress.
- Using emoticons: Exercises brain centres linked to emotion and social connection; particularly beneficial to those who use computers for long periods.
- Tweeting and chatrooms: Enhances peripheral attention, helps to boost self-esteem and protects the hippocampus.
The article includes more information on the “why” or how it works, and of course some negative aspects of internet & technology usage too.
- Facebook and Bebo risk ‘infantilising’ the human mind
- In Defense of Distraction
- Is Google Making Us Stupid?
- Gin, Television, and Social Surplus
- How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that’s dangerous.