Impact of Internet on Memory
Search engines are parallel storage devices for human memory.
Google, facebook, twitter and a horde of social networking sites and search engines seem to redefining the way in which our memory functions. In a series of experiments that have been conducted there have appeared two opposing points of view. According to the first, the fact that the human memory now does not have to indulge in memorising and remembering things, it can involve itself in complex thinking. On the other hand, the opposing group is of the opinion that not using the brain for purposes of memorising will retard development. This way the brain will not make the kind of connections that it is supposed to make.
During a series of 4 experiments that were carried out to look at the impact of internet on the ability to recall things, it was noticed that now people tend to remember the places where information is stored rather than the information itself. Also when people are not sure if their information is going to be saved and available elsewhere, they tend to remember more details.
These developments in the way humans are now processing information sheds light on the fact that slowly but steadily our dependence on the virtual world of the internet is increasing. Humans now have what can be referred to as a separate memory database which eliminates the need to memorise. Whether this internet dependence turns out to be a boon or a curse remains to be seen.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jul 19, 2011
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