There are two popular – but opposing – ideas about the internet and young people: Internet makes them more stupid versus Internet empowers them and we should look at the kids to now our future.
Kathryn Mills made a review of the existing evidence and concludes:
Adults are concerned about the effects of new technologies on the developing brain.
Different aspects of Internet use have different effects on adolescent health.
Neuroimaging research on this topic has focused on nonrepresentative samples.
- There is currently no evidence that typical Internet use harms the adolescent brain.
And there are also some interesting facts in her article in Cell:
Although it is unclear how time spent specifically using the Internet relates to physical activity, a longitudinal study of 11–13-year-olds (n = 908) suggests that engaging in screen-based sedentary behaviors such as computer use is not associated with less engagement in leisure-time physical activities
At this time we cannot be sure whether Internet use is creating a generation with ‘fundamentally different cognitive skills’, although recent studies have begun to test the potential effects of widespread Internet use on the cognitive abilities of young adults.
Although there are neuroimaging studies that have investigated the effects of Internet use on the adolescent brain, these studies have focused on adolescents classified as excessive Internet users (see  for a review). The results of these studies are unlikely to apply to the majority (an estimated 95.6%; see ) of adolescents that do not qualify as excessive Internet users.