New research shows that surfing the Web is actually beneficial.
Besides being a wealth of information and the cornerstone of convenience, a University of California, Los Angeles study shows that the Internet boosts brain power in middle-aged and older adults. Researchers found that the brain slows down over time. As you age, a number of physiological changes occur to the brain that can affect brain performance and function:
Atrophy - Brain shrinkage due to a loss of neurons and the connections between them leads to a loss of mental activities.
A reduction in cellular activity
Amyloid plaque - B-amyloid protein build-up disrupts communication between the brain's neurons.
Tau tangles - Tau protein build-up causes death to the brain's neurons.
Surfing the Web, however, provides an exercise to improve brain function in middle-aged and older adults. It utilizes parts the parts of the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning.
The Internet also provides a source of support groups, information and companionship for people all over the world.
"Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function," states lead researcher, Professor Gary Small.
Besides increasing the brain's performance, there are some other benefits to the Internet. For instance, the Internet can help to combat loneliness. It's a good way to connect with old friends, through Facebook, Myspace, Classmates.com, and other social online sites, and to make new ones.
It's easy to make connections with people by going to chat rooms, commenting on a Web site's message board, starting a blog (a personal narrative that is posted online) and asking for comments, joining a dating website, and so on. Chat rooms on a multitude of subjects are out there in the World Wide Web.
With the Internet, supportive people and helpful advice are a click-of-the-mouse away. And if you're interested in becoming physically fit, you can get a tailor-made diet online, as well as your own virtual personal trainer. So when you hear yet again how bad the Internet is, just remember that research shows it may also be good for your health! And as with so many things, if you use it in moderation, you'll be just fine.