I don’t Know, but Google Does!

Google logoEverything you need to know, Google already knows – so you don’t have to. Or so it seems, according to a recent study led by Betsy Sparrow, a psychologist at Columbia University, says the MercuryNews. Apparently our brains are changing, based on our use of Google and search engines. We retain less information that we know we can easily look up in a search engine.

Dubbed “The Google Effect” it appears that while we can still remember things we’re not searching for on Google, in general we’re forgetting the things that we have access to with a few clicks.

The MercuryNews reports:

Rather, it suggests that the human memory is reorganizing where it goes for information, adapting to new computing technologies rather than relying purely on rote memory. We’re outsourcing “search” from our brains to our computers.

The trend, according to researchers, creates a mental dependency on the Internet’s ability to provide instant access to information.

No wonder the loss of our Internet connection feels like losing a friend, they wrote. Once we become reliant on a huge reservoir of information, it feels uneasy to be away from it, [Sparrow] said.

“We must remain plugged in to know what Google knows,” the paper concludes.

The study was sparked by Sparrow’s onw experience, doing something most of have done at one time or another. “Who is that? What was this?” Google it!

Angela Lansbury in GaslightSparrow became interested in the topic one night at home, while watching the 1944 mystery-thriller “Gaslight.” She knew she recognized the maid — but couldn’t remember her name.

“Before the Internet, I’d trace it back in my mind “… thinking ‘Where else did I see her? Was it in black and white, or color? Was I with friends, or not? What book might know?’ Anything to find a clue,” she said.

Instead, she went online and in seconds had an answer: An 18-year-old Angela Lansbury.

“I turned to my husband and said ‘What did we do before the Internet?’ “


About Jordan
Just another guy on the Interwebs.

One Response to I don’t Know, but Google Does!

  1. Janine says:

    When I have one of those random “I can’t remember _____” moments, I go to my sister. And vice versa. We both have brains full of useless knowledge and trivia. We’d probably clean up on Jeopardy. :)

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