The Study on the Impact of the Internet on Human Beings- Does It Make Them Smarter?

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV13IS060002

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The Study on the Impact of the Internet on Human Beings- Does It Make Them Smarter?

Aakansha Ghritlahre, Deepshikha Verma

Student (BCA 3rd), AMITY UNIVERSITY Raipur

Nisha Rathore



This review paper examines the multifaceted impact of the internet on human cognition and intelligence, addressing the fundamental question: Does internet usage enhance or diminish human intelligence? Drawing from a diverse array of literature spanning psychology, neuroscience, education, and technology, this paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the effects of internet usage on various cognitive domains. Advocates argue that the internet serves as a valuable tool for knowledge acquisition, problem-solving, and critical thinking, empowering individuals with instant access to vast information resources. Furthermore, online platforms facilitate collaborative learning, creativity, and skill development, contributing to cognitive enhancement. However, concerns have been raised regarding the potential negative consequences of excessive internet use. Critics caution against the pitfalls of information overload, decreased attentional control, and diminished deep processing

of information in the digital age. Moreover, the proliferation of misinformation and digital distractions poses challenges to discernment and critical thinking skills. Additionally, prolonged screen time and social media engagement have been associated with adverse effects on mental health and well-being. By synthesizing empirical evidence and theoretical frameworks, this review sheds light on the nuanced relationship between internet usage and human intelligence. It highlights the need for balanced and responsible internet use while leveraging its potential to augment cognitive capabilities. Furthermore, the paper discusses implications for education, technology design, and societal well-being, offering insights for future research and policy initiatives in the digital era.

Keyword: – Internet Usage, Digital Technology, Information Access, Internet Impact, Critical Thinking


    The advent of the internet has revolutionized the way human beings interact, access information, and conduct various aspects of their lives. As we delve into the study of its impact on individuals, it becomes essential to examine the multifaceted effects on cognition, social dynamics, and overall well-being. This research aims to explore the profound changes brought about by the internet, shedding light on both the positive advancements and potential challenges faced by individuals in this interconnected digital era.

    The pervasive influence of the internet extends across diverse domains, fundamentally altering communication patterns. The ease of instant connectivity has transformed interpersonal relationships, shaping the dynamics of how people form and maintain connections. Social media platforms, in particular, have become integral in shaping identity, fostering virtual communities, and influencing societal perceptions.

    Moreover, the internet has significantly impacted cognitive processes. The abundance of information available at one's fingertips has redefined how individuals acquire knowledge

    and engage with intellectual pursuits. However, the constant barrage of information poses challenges such as information overload, affecting attention spans and critical thinking skills.

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    The Internet, a revolutionary technological advancement, has profoundly impacted human beings in various aspects of their lives. Its origins can be traced back to the late 1960s when the

    U.S. Department of Defense developed ARPANET, a network that aimed to facilitate communication among researchers. Over the subsequent decades, the Internet evolved from a military communication tool to a global network connecting individuals, businesses, and governments.

    One of the most significant impacts of the Internet on human beings is its transformative effect on communication. The advent of email, instant messaging, and social media platforms has revolutionized how people connect and share information. Geographical barriers have been dismantled, allowing individuals from different corners of the world to communicate in real-time. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have not only facilitated personal connections but have also become powerful tools for disseminating information, shaping public opinion, and mobilizing social movements.

    In addition to communication, the Internet has revolutionized access to information. The vast repository of knowledge available online has democratized education, allowing people to learn about diverse subjects at their own pace. Online platforms, such as Wikipedia and online educational courses, have expanded access to information, bridging gaps in traditional educational systems. However, the abundance of information also brings challenges, such as misinformation and the need for critical digital literacy skills.

    E-commerce is another realm where the Internet has left an indelible mark on human behavior. Online shopping has become a ubiquitous part of modern life, offering convenience and a vast array of choices. Retail giants like Amazon have reshaped the way people buy and sell goods, contributing to the decline of brick-and-mortar stores. The Internet has also enabled the rise of the gig economy, with platforms like Uber and Airbnb connecting service providers directly with consumers.

    However, the Internet's impact on human beings is not without its drawbacks. Concerns about privacy, cybersecurity, and the digital divide have emerged. The ease of access to personal information has raised questions about data security and individual privacy. Additionally, the digital divide highlights the disparities in Internet access and technological literacy, creating potential inequalities in opportunities for those without adequate access.


    Dr. Amritpal Kaur [1] in their research paper Internet Use by Teachers and Students in Engineering Colleges of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh States of India: An Analysis explores how the Internet has become a crucial tool for accessing unlimited information, particularly in engineering education. The increasing dependency on the internet has enabled teachers and students to enhance their academic

    performance by accessing worldwide information. However, the information on the internet is often not organized and users struggle to find the right information at the right time. Library staff should organize and classify information on websites to make it easier for users to find the information they need. This study focuses on the most frequent users of the internet in engineering colleges in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, India. Future research should explore different types of user behavior and comparisons of attitudes towards the internet.

    Irena Stoic [2] in their research paper Perceptions of teachers regarding the implementation of the internet in educationexplores the implementation of the internet in education, highlighting that while internet-based learning is popular, actual implementation varies based on factors such as teacher training and technological resources. The research investigates attitudes of teachers in primary and secondary schools, finding no significant difference based on work experience. It reveals that teacers lack sufficient training to effectively integrate the internet into classrooms, pointing out the need for further comprehensive research in this area. The study serves as a foundation for future research, aiming to assess the development and challenges associated with internet implementation in education, potentially inspiring further comparative studies.

    Mustafa Nadeem Kirmani [3] in their research paper Effect of Internet Addiction on Aggression and Attention Span in Adolescents: Empirical Investigation reveals that aggressive behaviour and attention focus are linked to internet addiction in adolescents, significantly impacting their behaviour and attention span. Internet addiction is also linked to emotional issues and reduced focus. The findings can aid in developing management plans to reduce behavioural issues and increase attention concentration.

    Janna Anderson [4] in their research paperThe Internet of Things Connectivity Binge: What Are the Implications?talks about a survey of 2,558 experts predicts an ambient information environment by 2025, where accessing the Internet will be effortless and seamless. The Internet of Things will connect mobile, wearable, and embedded computing, enabling artificial intelligence-enhanced cloud-based information storage and sharing. The experts agree on the technology change but disagree on its ramifications. They expect a global, immersive, invisible networked computing environment, augmented reality enhancements, and disruption of business models in finance, entertainment, publishers, and education. Tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping are expected to revolutionize human interaction. While most experts believe the results will be positive, concerns about interpersonal ethics, surveillance, terror, and crime may arise. The experts' predictions can be

    grouped into 15 theses, with eight being hopeful, six concerned, and another neutral piece of advice.

    Robert Litan [5] in their research paper Projecting the Economic Impact of the Internetsays that the internet economy is rapidly expanding, impacting entrepreneurship and economic development. China, the largest developing country, has a significant impact on entrepreneurship, with implications for poverty reduction in other countries. The internet spurs entrepreneurial activities by enabling agglomeration across areas, and entrepreneurs are more likely to use it to develop export market opportunities. The effect is more pronounced in rural areas. The mechanism of the internet promoting entrepreneurial activities is the information effect, which facilitates information exchange, eases asymmetry in business decisions, and provides entrepreneurs with accurate information, helping them identify opportunities and reduce risks.

    Mary Katsikitis [6] in their research paper Internet Use by People with Intellectual Disability: Exploring Digital Inequality A Systematic Review This thesis highlights the digital inequality faced by people with intellectual disability in Australia, which could hinder their full participation in society and impact their human rights. The study is the first to examine this issue in Australia and highlights the intersectionality of digital inequality for older individuals and those living in regional or remote areas. The Theory of Planned Behaviour can be applied to the internet use behavior of people with intellectual disability, and further research is needed to examine its utility in other interventions. The study also highlights the role of family and paid caregivers in facilitating internet use for people with intellectual disability. The findings highlight the need for additional resources and training to support independent internet use and self-determination. As the internet becomes more integral to daily life, the negative implications of inequitable internet access will increase.

    Genevieve Z. Steiner [7] in their research paper The online brain: how the Internet may be changing our cognition explores the internet's integration into daily life is altering human cognition and social interactions. It impacts attention, information processing, and social connectivity. Younger individuals face digital distractions, while older adults may benefit from online cognitive stimulation. The long-term impact is uncertain, necessitating in-depth research. Large- scale study of internet usage patterns, demographic and neuroimaging data, is crucial to optimize its positive effects while mitigating potential drawbacks.

    Manuel Castells [8] in their research paper The Impact of the Internet on Society: A Global Perspective describes that how the Internet has transformed society by creating a culture of autonomy, influenced by its producers' ideas, values, and knowledge. It is a technology of freedom, coined by Ithiel de Sola Pool in 1973. The expansion of the Internet from the mid- 1990s resulted from the discovery of the World Wide Web,

    institutional changes, and changes in social structure, culture, and behavior.

    Our society is a network society, built around personal and organizational networks powered by digital networks and communicated by the Internet. This process of individuation is materially produced by new forms of organizing economic activities, social and political life, and culture and communication.

    Tracy Packiam Alloway [9] in their research paper Social networking sites and cognitive abilities: Do they make you smarter? investigates the impact of social networking sites (SNS) on adolescents aged 12-18, highlighting concerns about their impact on academic performance. Excessive Facebook use can lead to lower GPAs due to poor time management and cognitive overload during multitasking. However, certain online activities, like sharing links, can enhance GPA. Adolescence is crucial for brain development and social connectedness, making understanding how SNS usage influences cognitive skills and social development in this age group essential.

    Michael Onugha[10] in their research paper Internet privacy talks about the rise of the internet and mobile networks has increased the importance of internet privacy, as users are increasingly willing to share their private information. this paper addresses the question of who is responsible for protecting an individual's online privacy. the management of data is a significant concern, as every transaction and email sent is data. companies offering internet services must understand how to handle privacy concerns and if privacy is a major concern for users. the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK released a covid-19 contact tracing app, but many users expressed concerns about their privacy on social media, highlighting the value of valuable data and privacy in today's digital world.

    Murat skender[11] in their research paper Internet Addiction and Depression, Anxiety and Stress investigates the link between internet addiction and depression, anxiety, and stress among university students. It finds a strong correlation, indicating that higher levels of internet addiction lead to increased depression, anxiety, and stress. The findings align with previous research on internet addiction's social and psychological effects. However, the study acknowledges limitations, such as its limited focus on university students and the need for further research to establish causality.

    Pawan Parashar[12] in their research paper How are our medical students using the computer and internet? A study from a medical college of north India found that medical students have access to computers and the internet, with over half having personal computers and most having email IDs. However, the primary use of the internet is for communication and entertainment, with low usage for medical literature research. Barriers to internet use include time and access. A significant portion of students, especially in higher years, perceive the internet as irrelevant to medical education.

    D. Jaishree Ganjiwale [13] in their research paper Factorsassociated with internet addiction among school-going adolescents in Vadodara concludes that Internet addiction (IA) is a growing global health concern among adolescents. Primary care physicians should screen adolescents with behavioral issues and poor academic performance, involving monitoring of internet use, socialization, sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet. Guidelines for interventions should consider internet usage characteristics, exposure age, device provision, and permissible hours. Monitoring internet usage by parents and school authorities can help control internet use. Policymakers may consider incorporating "Responsible Internet Use" into the curriculum to address the growing public health issue of IA.

    Martina Benvenuti [14] in their research paper How technology use is changing adolescents behaviors and their social, physical, and cognitive development explores the latest research on adolescent issues, considering diverse cultures and populations. Future research should focus on adolescents' well- being, monitoring interpersonal relationships, and managing online relationships. The concept of technology on life is crucial for digital natives, who merge online and offline relationships. Managing online relationships is essential for handling social networking sites and adolescents' online reputation. The importance of research in multiple scientific and interdisciplinary sectors is highlighted, aiming to create ideas for future challenges and keep pace with social, cultural, and behavioral changes.

    Ann Locke Davidson [15] in their research paper The Impact of Internet Use on Relationships Between Teachers and Students talks about a5-year qualitative study in a US urban school district found that the Internet has significantly transformed classroom dynamics. It revealed that internet integration increased student autonomy, allowing them to explore diverse educational materials. However, this also led to technical difficulties and a reversal of the traditional knowledge hierarchy between teachers and students. Internet activities often fostered small group collaborations, enhancing the quality of student-teacher relationships. The interactive nature of online resources also captivated students, making learning more engaging and motivating. The increased autonomy also influenced the overall atmosphere of student-teacher relationships, as students approached their teachers with confidence, fostering a more positive and collaborative environment.

    Leah Graham [16] in their research paper of course its true; I saw it on the internet! – Critical Thinking in the Internet Era The study reveals that students rely heavily on the internet for information but struggle to identify trustworthy sources due to a lack of understanding about the internet as an unmonitored platform. It emphasizes the need for education on search engine usage and online content's purpose. It also highlights the

    importance of evaluating information critically and the need for specific research practices for internet searches. Improving training methods is crucial for enhancing students' Internet literacy and critical thinking skills.

    Ahmad H. Alghadir [17] in their research paper Effects of Internet Addiction on College Students' Cognition, Mood, and Physical Activity Level. A Correlational Observational Study found that internet addiction in college students has a positive correlation with cognition and mood, but a negative correlation with physical activity. Excessive internet usage leads to cognitive failure and unstable mood levels. Heavy internet usage results in declining physical activity levels, with addiction increasing as the level of addiction increases. Therefore, it is crucial for college students to manage their internet addiction effectively.

    Henry Jay Becker [18] in their research paper Internet Use by Teachers: Conditions of Professional Use and Teacher- Directed Student Use explains that how the Internet is a valuable tool for teachers and students, with potential applications yet to be fully explored. Factors promoting increased Internet use include high classroom connectivity, computer expertise, constructivist pedagogy, staff development participation, informal teacher interactions, professional leadership, and being young. Schools can enhance Internet use by providing high-speed connections, improving computer expertise, offering training, and encouraging informal interactions. Further analysis will explore the impact of school support and teachers' educational backgrounds on Internet use.

    Kep Kee Loh [19] in their research paper How Has the Internet Reshaped Human Cognition? says that the internet environment has led to shallow learning, with quick scanning and reduced contemplation. Hypertext environments and easy online information retrieval affect deep reading skills and neural circuitry. Multitasking behaviors increase distractibility and reduced learning. Media-multitasking impacts attention control but task-switching is inconsistent. Internet-related addictive behaviors result from the rewarding environment, causing deficits in self-control and brain network alterations.

    Joseph Firth [20] in their research paper Exploring the Impact of Internet Use on Memory and Attention Processes speaks about how the internet has significantly impacted various aspects of society, with current findings linking it to the brain, cognition, and behavioral outcomes. While the effects of internet use on the brain are not fully understood, evidence suggests that our extensive interactions with the internet could influence attention, memory, and other cognitive aspects. Further longitudinal work is needed, particularly in young people, but now is the time to examine how the internet can be used to improve psychological and cognitive health.


    In conclusion, The Internet has significantly impacted human life, transforming communication, education, and business. The rise of email and social media has brought people together and facilitated global ideas exchange. The democratization of information has revolutionized education and learning, while e- commerce and the gig economy have reshaped business and livelihoods.

    However, the digital revolution also presents complexities such as privacy concerns, cybersecurity threats, and the digital divide. The ease of information access has led to issues like misinformation, necessitating a focus on digital literacy and critical thinking. The rapid pace of technological advancement demands adaptation from individuals, societies, and institutions. Balancing the benefits of connectivity with addressing challenges is crucial. Policies, education, and technological innovations must work together to create a digital environment that promotes inclusivity, privacy, and ethical conduct. The impact of the Internet on human beings is ongoing, and our ability to navigate this digital frontier will shape our collective future.


The future impact of the Internet on human beings is vast, with opportunities and challenges. Technological advancements, such as IoT, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality, are expected to revolutionize daily life, including smart homes and autonomous vehicles. Education will undergo significant transformation, with online learning platforms offering personalized and immersive experiences. Virtual and augmented reality technologies will also play a significant role in creating engaging educational environments. Telemedicine and remote healthcare services will enhance access to medical expertise, especially in underserved areas.

However, the integration of the Internet into critical infrastructure raises cyber security concerns, necessitating a balance between innovation and privacy protection. The gig economy and new forms of remote work will also evolve, necessitating adaptability and digital skills for the future workforce.

In conclusion,the future of the Internet holds promise for enhanced connectivity, innovation, and efficiency, but it requires a thoughtful approach to address privacy, cyber security, and societal implications. Ethical considerations, responsible innovation, and inclusive policies will be crucial in harnessing the full potential of the Internet for humanity's betterment.


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