The Internet is affecting our memory
Neuroimaging research shows that spending too much time on the screen damages the brain. We live in a digital world loaded with information, constantly surrounded by screens that feed our brains with data that cannot be processed correctly.
Neuroscientists say the lack of what they define as "deep thinking," which is often accomplished by reading a physical book, is changing our brains. This is affecting gray matter. Several studies have shown a loss of volume or shrinkage in gray matter areas due to the internet.
Unlike reading in a book, or even in a magazine or newspaper, reading on a screen often involves consuming short snippets of information in quick succession, usually by sliding words or clicking from page to page. When the brain reads texts, there is no time to understand complexity, think "deeply" about the information, or evaluate the appropriate perspective from a particular point of view. We are adapting to read in fragments by sliding texts to process the large amount of information presented each day.
In a brain imaging recognition research study led by Professor Natalie Phillips of Michigan State University, they found that the brain was less active when someone was engaged in "casual" or "shallow" reading, rather than careful or deep reading. Although concentration during reading involves our ability to think critically and reflectively, by consuming more and more words without paying proper attention, the brain cannot process anything properly.
Our functional memory is affected by this type of data consumption, increasingly reducing the capacity of the functional memory of people who read on screens. In short, we read more but we remember less, because in reality we read superficially.
Research has also shown the loss of integrity of the white matter of the brain (Lin 2012, Yuan 2011, Hong 2013 and Weng 2013). "Stained" white matter results in loss of communication within the brain, including connections to and from multiple lobes in the same hemisphere, links between the left and right hemispheres, and pathways between the upper (cognitive) and lower (emotional) brain centers and survival). White matter also connects networks of the brain to the body and vice versa. Broken connections can slow down signals, "short circuit" them, or make them erratic.