Thanks to Google and other search engines out there, life with the internet has become extremely convenient. Google’s not so recent changes to its search engine (autocomplete, instant search) in addition to fast internet connections has helped users cut down a lot of time spent typing unnecessary words or waiting for results.
While all this new technology has made our lives much more efficient and easier, they’ve also affected us in a negative way – by changing how our memory works. According to a recent experiment done by a psychologist, our reliance on search engines has caused us to not remember a lot of things. Because we feel that some facts can be easily Googled and located online, our brain chooses not to remember them instead.
A group of college students were put through a test for the psychologist to come up with the conclusion. The students were told to type trivia statements like “Bluebirds cannot see the color blue” and “Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer” into a computer. Half the students were told that the statements would be saved, and the other half were told that the statements would be erased.
When the students were asked to recall the facts later, the group that was told the facts would be erased fared 40% better. Who would’ve thought we’d come to rely so much on being able to rely on search engines so much?