USING GOOGLE CAUSES MEMORY LOSS
By Elizabeth Lopatto, from Bloomberg
Internet searches are making information easy to forget, as more people rely on their computers as a type of “external memory,” a study of Harvard University students found.
About 60 Harvard students were asked to type 40 pieces of trivia, such as “An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain,” into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased. People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.
The widely available Internet has made it an instant go-to library where facts and figures are easily found, the researchers said. The study suggests that search engines such as Google Inc. (GOOG), and databases such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN)’s IMDb.com serve as an external “memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” they said.
“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems,” the authors wrote in the paper. “We have become dependent on them to the same degree we are on all the knowledge we gain from our friends and coworkers– and lose if they are out of touch.”
The research also found that people are primed to look to the Internet first for knowledge. Another experiment, run on 34 undergraduates at Columbia University in New York, showed that people remembered where they stored their information better than they were able to recall the information itself.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, after the two Stanford University students created a search engine they called“BackRub.” That search engine, later dubbed Google — became the company’s backbone, as it expanded access to billions of web documents. Google, a play on the word ”googol,” a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros, went public in 2004.
It isn’t clear what the effects of being so “wired” will have on people over time, the authors, led by Betsy Sparrow of Columbia, wrote.
“It may be no more than nostalgia at this point, however, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets,” the authors said.
Dr. Pinna says:
There is no question in my mind, that this study is accurate and important.
Everyone uses Google for knowledge about anything. If Goggle disappeared, modern society would stop, dead in its tracks.
Our dependence on Google is overwhelming. My secretary “Googles” anything that moves, including butterflies. Without her “Googling” activities I could not take a trip, book a hotel or buy an appliance. I would get lost in my own city–perhaps in my own home!
How do you go from here to there? Google it!
How do you take a deep breath? It’s the second website in the list!
Pretty soon Google will demand taxes from every human on the planet. People wont know what “taxes” mean until they Google it.
Memory loss is just the beginning… Unless someone stops them, Google will rule the world.