When a brand becomes a verb you know it’s proverbial paydirt. Example: What do you do when you want find out about something? You Google it of course. But for all the benefits of having so much information at our fingertips, there may be a downside.
There’s a fantastic infographic that was put out by onlinecolleges.net that I want to share with you. It speaks directly to the impact Google has had and continues to have on our everyday lives and more specifically, our collective memories. You’ll notice they do a great job of separating out what they call “The Google’s Brain” into four separate quadrants, touching on each of the four and including the benefits of each these quadrants provide all of us with… well all of us that use Google, anyway.
But be sure to look at the Section 2 – How is Google changing our memory? This is where it gets to be a little disconcerting, at least to me, especially when I factor in my 7 year old son and soon-to-be 12 year old daughter who will of course never know what it feels like to research something via an encyclopedia, either in your own home or in a library. As it reads below “[in the past]… we found ways to memorize what we needed to know; we were genuinely interested in the information which helped us remember it the next time we needed to know this same information.”
However with Google at the ready, we simply search, point, click, save. We don’t remember the information itself but rather where got it from in the first place. Not good…
Then we get to section 3, The Consequences… “We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools. These tools have replaced our need to memorize many details… and without these tools we may be lost.” And “… the internet is filled with incorrect information.” Remember, back in the day, we looked up something in an encyclopedia and it was gospel; it was the truth and you never question the validity of it.
Obviously having a tool such as Google is a good thing… a VERY good thing. Technology being what it is – ever changing, ever adapting and so on, is a wondrous thing for sure. And I am surely not about to sit here and say we need to go back to the days of Funk & Wagnall’s (that’s an old encyclopedia reference for those under the age of 40). No, I am merely bringing up the point that while technology makes our lives easier the catch-22 in some instances we become too dependent on it.