How Google is Changing our Brains

April 27, 2019

 

Less and less people are making physical efforts for finding answers they do not know or learning something knew. The path of going to a local library or pulling out an encyclopedia when knowledge is unknown is becoming less traveled on because of Google and it’s powerful search engine and formulas. Even after just having a short and sweet conversation on the matter with my Dad (who was born in 1955), we were both were comfortable with the thought that less and less people are making physical efforts for locating and learning information because in this day and age, people are just simply, “Googling” it. Time and how we choose to spend it is becoming more of a commodity and Google is reinforcing it. The article Scientists say Google is changing our brains by Stephanie Thompson fortifies this with scientific research facts and studies taking place. One that stands out mentions the following, “from academics at the universities of California and Illinois, found that our increasing reliance on the internet is transforming the way we think and remember.”

 

This research also mentions that people are becoming less inhabitant to finding answers and solutions themselves when knowledge is unknown, but rather rely on the internet. I mean, I can’t blame them because it is a major convenient advantage compared to going to the library and it is easy to access with technology everywhere we look. In the study performed by both universities the results also stated, “In the study, two groups of people were asked to answer a set of trivia questions. Those in the first group were told to use only their memories, while the others had to look up the answers online. Both groups were then asked a set of easier questions and given the option of using the internet". At the end of the study the researchers concluded that those who used the internet the first time, were inclined to use it again, and became quicker and quicker to do so. This trend of research is called, “cognitive offloading” which goes back to the main point of how Google is changing our brains and the way we think. Even after learning about this study, one could presume that the overall way humans retrieve and store memory is being altered because of the power Google and it’s search engine. More and more people just simply look up the answers or the follow the Google path to clarify unknown knowledge which can be good thing because people are uses technology as a resource. But becoming reliant on the technology is where there could be a discrepancy because it is taking away the actual physical effort of obtaining the information which could be critical to our brain development as a society. I am a firm believer that there needs to be a equal balance in knowing numerous strategies to obtain knowledge when the answer isn’t clear.

 

Communicating with another human who may the information is beneficially advantageous due to the social and networking effects talking with another person can have. While actually going to the library and searching for the information in books is beneficially advantageous due to the physical and labor effect on retrieving and searching for information. Nevertheless, simply searching for the information on Google can be beneficial with saving time and effort which like I mentioned earlier, is becoming more and more of a valued commodity. So as a result, do you think Google is changing our brains? If so, is it for the betterment of society and human progression, or for the worse?

 

References:

 

 

Thomson, S. (n.d.). Scientists say Google is changing our brains. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/how-google-is-changing-our-brains/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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