This Is How Search Engines Affect Our Memory
Do you remember the times when you had to remember the phone number of your best friend in order to call her? There was no such thing as speed dial and there was no virtual phonebook on your phone. If you wanted to remember a number, you either had to write it down in an address book or try to dial the correct number time and time again.
Do you even remember a phone number right now? Chances are, the only phone number you do know by heart is your own because you’ve had to repeat it time and time again when giving out information. Well, the same thing applies to your relationship with search engines.
There are two types of memory, nondeclarative and declarative one. The first type is basically muscle memory, it’s remembering all the steps you need to do in order to ride your bike or let’s say dial your best friend’s phone number. Declarative memory is basically remembering all of that non-material information, like your best friend’s number.
What’s happened in the age of Google and search engines in general, is we’ve been expanding our declarative memory. We learn new things, but we don’t store them in our brain as we did before. Instead of keeping them in our memory, we just remember the path to finding them on the internet. This is both good and bad because we can obtain even more information than before and we are always thirsty for more, but we do it at the expense of not being able to store it in our mind and reach it in the events when we don’t have access to a search engine. This makes us even more dependent on the Internet.