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“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.”This sentence comes from the findings of a new study conducted by psychology professors at Columbia University, the University Of Wisconsin-Madison, and Harvard University.
Essentially, the study asserts that internet search is destroying our “internal memory.”
“When people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.”
In other words, instead of remembering the name of every U.S. President, we now remember where we can find those names on Google (“external memory”).
“It may be no more that nostalgia at this point, however, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets,” the study concludes. Perhaps relying on external memory isn’t such a bad thing—unless your smartphone runs out of battery, that is.