As Mercedes Sánchez, co-author of the book “Spanish on the Net” points out, the Internet and cellphones have contributed more than ever to people’s writing. This democratization of writing on the Internet is largely due to the emergence of social networks and instant messaging services, which are increasingly part of our daily lives.
To give an example, messages sent through WhatsApp messaging services and Facebook Messenger average 60 billion per day. This amount equates to an average of 8 messages per day per inhabitant on earth, although this average varies by country, taking into account the literacy rate and internet penetration. This fact represents a huge change in our modes of communication and with the use of social media, they affect the way we use language, developing new neural connections and the evolution of learning models.
Social networks: can they alter our brains?
One of these changes is given by the use of so-called emoticons which add detractors and advocates equally. On the one hand, there is concern that the use of these “graphic messages” will impoverish the written language by using fewer words. However, this is supported by its supporters who see it as an evolution of language, claiming that it is used as a simple supportive element to express more feelings in less space and time.
And is that the use of icons is given by the rise of written communication on the Internet. This new way of conveying information has meant that we need elements to replace the gestures or tone of voice that are present in oral communication.
A new language, a new communication
Positive or negative, The influence of emojis is a fact, as some studies suggest that they have the same effect as a real face, Getting our brain to translate this non-verbal information into emotions. Thus, the impact of a negative message with “emojis” is less than one without them, which makes it more understandable.
On the other hand, the increasing use of social networks, of which 1 and 1 gives us an overview of the most used, also leads to alterations in our brain. Scientific work has shown that greater use of these leads to a greater ability to multitask and seek information on specific problems. However, the analytical capacity is lost to decide on the quality of this information and whether the sources are reliable. In addition, social networks also contribute to less concentration and greater difficulty in reading and writing long texts.
Science detects changes in neurotransmitters
Transformations have also been detected in certain neurotransmitters (molecules that ensure the transmission of information from one neuron to another neuron, muscle cell or gland). This could lead to more individualistic and introverted behaviors, a greater need to buy and invest, and greater influence from family and partner.
Other aspects relate to one’s own health, as various health experts have pointed out, because uncontrolled use of social media can trigger psychiatric disorders as different addictions, in addition to increasing the likelihood of suffering from inflammatory or hearing diseases.
There is no doubt that the speed at which new technologies are breaking into almost every area of our life is transforming our society and ourselves as a race in leaps and bounds. Whether we are headed in the right direction or not, time will tell, but if anything defines human beings it is their insatiable thirst to move forward and evolve, if we reject progress we reject ourselves.