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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is The Internet Changing Our Memory?

A recent study by Columbia University professor, Dr Betsy Sparrow, suggests that we are relying less on our memory of a subject and more on our memory of where to find the subject matter. "I don't think Google is making us stupid - we're just changing the way that we're remembering things... If you can find stuff online even while you're walking down the street these days, then the skill to have, the thing to remember, is where to go to find the information. It's just like it would be with people - the skill to have is to remember who to go see about [particular topics]." says Dr. Sparrow.

I'd argue that we've been doing this since we've been able to read and write. We may have faster access to information these days but prior to the internet there were libraries, filing cabinets, and subject matter experts. Don't you agree? Am I missing something here?