Just Google It!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.”

Source Tweaktown

Source Tweaktown

Just google it” how many times have you heard this phrase? Or used this sentence yourself? I am sure we all use the phrase quite often! Google for many of us is that magical Pandora’s Box with answers to all sorts of questions. Be it in school or at work we are all encouraged to make full use of the search engines like Google. And rightfully so, when there is so much information available in these engines, why not make use of it?

I never once doubted that using google would be bad for me in any way. On the contrary it is supposed to be good. Google helps enhance your knowledge, right?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that it is not so. Excess use of Search Engines like Google can also be bad for you or your brain in particular. Recently I happened to read this article on the topic while flipping through my Flip It board. According to the article, excess usage of search engines like Google has an impact on our brains. Depending too much on Google is slowly but surely killing our memory, says the most recent research by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

In a survey conducted, most people revealed that they would google something if they were unable to remember it rather than wasting time trying to remember it.

phonelooking

Our brain is designed to function in a way that every piece of information we come across is sorted on a ‘need-to-store’ or a ‘fine-to-forget’ basis. The need-to-store kind of information is stored away in the brain to be retrieved and used whenever necessary. For example, if we’ve read a book about improving relationships, and that book provides specifics on how to do this, our brain is expected to store that information to be retrieved and used but if we don’t remember that particular aspect discussed in the book when necessary, we’ve failed to reap the fruits from that great read.

Our long-term memories significantly strengthens brain functioning and by not using it as much as we should or relying too much on the Google aid, we are preventing our brain from strengthening and functioning optimally. So while Google is great for research and fine-to-forget facts, it won’t help us when we need to access important knowledge in real life scenarios.

This, I think, is particularly true in my case. For the longest time I can remember, I have been relying on search engines for answers to anything that I am doubtful about. I would happily and undoubtedly google the moment I came across something that I am not familiar with. And I have always been proud of the fact that I google so much. In my head, I am thinking that I am adding to my knowledge base. Well, from the looks of it I am actually draining the database rather than adding to it!

Source Imagecarde

Source Imagecarde

Off late, I have also been complaining more and more of bad memory. I am always forgetting things, words, chores and what not. Come to think of it, I am probably a slave to my smart phone. I will not be able to exist without technology because of my dependency on it. I need it to route my daily commute, I need it to plan my week and month ahead, I do most of my shopping, banking and all kinds of transactions online and to top it all, I help my son with his homework after referring to the ideas suggested by Google! I think that takes the cake! He is in 2nd grade; I should be able to help my son without having to refer to google! Come on!!

As disinterested as I was in that article I read (given my love for google), it had me thinking. Would I be able to survive if I were to lose my access to google? Would I even be able to have a decent conversation or find my way around or go out shopping or do anything for that matter were I to lose access to search engines? The answer, I learned, was quite scary!

I doubt if I would be able to even survive a day. That’s how much I depend on technology!

While technology has many advantages and benefits, it also has its downside. More and more people youngsters and the elders alike are becoming addicted to it. The dependency on it brings life to a halt the moment we lose access to it. They say that technology has made the world a smaller place and brought people closer to one another. While that is true, ironically it has also been successful in isolating people from one another! Imagine a dinner time scenario where everyone is in front of a screen with their plates instead of sitting together and eating! This list is infinite, I can probably go on and on about it. Maybe that is something I can cover in a new blog post by itself!

Source: Astitnt

Source: Astitnt

Coming back to my dependency on technology, it is one thing to realize that you have a problem and another to take action on it. I have realized my problem, now what do I do about it? The best thing would be to go back to basics. Give up a few things and change a few age-old habits. For one, I reduced my google usage. Whenever I come across something I am unsure of, I try hard and long to think about it, especially if it is a word I am trying to remember, I put the pressure on my brain to give me any information at all. I turn to google only when all else fails! (Of course, I will continue to use google to search for images and related to enhance my blogging!)

I also stopped using the calendar and reminder apps on my phone and have switched to a hand written planner. I am big on doing things in an organized manner, so a planner was necessary. If not an app, then the old school way it was! I got myself a fancy planner and actually started using it! And I have also reduced my dependency on GPS; I try to find my own way. Needless to say I have been getting lost on the roads quite a lot recently missing turns and taking the wrong exits. I have made the decision to use GPS only for long road trips and not for local travels. Although I am losing my way a lot, I am getting where I need to. So that’s a plus! 🙂

My Super Awesome Planner!

My Super Awesome Planner!

Slowly but steadily I will teach myself to depend only on myself rather technology!

What about you? How dependent are you on Search engines, smart phones or technology in general? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know!

34 thoughts on “Just Google It!

  1. Thank you Kathryn, you are absolutely right, we have become a generation that is completely reliant on technology. While that kind of development is good in many ways it sure has its negative impact too.
    Thank you for stopping by 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting take on our reliance on technology. I used to be able to follow the pathway in my brain to where I had stored information, but in recent years, I’ve had trouble accessing much. I feared I might be succumbing to one of those brain-draining diseases of old age, but perhaps it has more to do with my reliance on computers to find the answers to me. Might be time to build library visits and the card catalog back into my life. Oh wait. They don’t have card catalogs at the library any more. You have to look up the books you want on the computer.

    Excellent piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been saying my iPhone (with Google capabilities) is the other half of my brain….In fact, this morning I had to google “on and off switches” because we forgot after being away from our “home” for a month. Is the line or the circle on, or off? Oh, what will I do without this technology? Remember the line is the off and the circle is the on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Josee! I learned to drive in a manual transmission and used to drive one in college. But then I switched to automatic since. Now I don’t know if I even remember it!
    Your right it will be interesting to see what the kids from 2000s will be like as they grow and have almost everything automated for them.
    In some ways it is very helpful but in another way it is making us lazy too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an interesting read! I surprisingly don’t use google…I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I am older? I have used google maps to get directions to a new place, but I don’t use GPS…I used to use a mapbook before the internet, so I guess I have that skill…It will be interesting to see what the next generation, the one who grew up with technology, born in early 2000 will be like. I drive a standard (manual transmission) car , and I taught my son how to drive a standard also, but most people learning to drive in recent years are learning on automatic transmissions…some cars even have built in parallel parking features, so soon new drivers will not be learning these skills…I wonder how differently this world will operate as more and more of our daily task are automated or relying on technology. Very interesting topic to think about! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have this recurring nightmare where my phone is not working, and I need to call on a pay phone for help and I don’t recall anyone’s numbers 😦
    But now thanks to you we can start doing something about it 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That amount of information available and their authenticity is a big issue in itself. And there is a good chance that a lot of it is not information based on scientific research! I tend to not Google when it is something health related coz what you end up reading may just scare you to death!
    I guess the whole idea is to find that balance of using it for our benefits and knowing when to put a break on the it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally agree! I find that with Google, I tend to skim articles a lot because half the time I don’t really know what to do with all that information. Which means I end up with half information which is not really cemented in my brain thus, leading to forgetfulness. I also realized that I have no idea how to confirm whether a particular article is valid or just nonsense spewed to make something viral (in areas of example health). There is a TON of information which is out there and it’s kind of scary when you think about it. The authenticity is lost and you tend to lose focus and that affects your memory in the long run, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Couldn’t agree more! I had a similar experience as you say here. My sister went out one night leaving her cell phone at my place. she didn’t return at the time she was supposed to and I started to worry because it was late and raining. I couldn’t get through to her coz she didn’t have her phone on her. I just stayed up late and waited for her to come home coz there was nothing else I could do. When she finally got home I asked why she didn’t use a pay phone or a friend’s cell to call me and she said that she had me on speed dial and didn’t remember my cell phone number! That experience taught me to memorize all the important contact numbers!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That is true! it is impossible to survive without technology. It is a part of our lifestyle now. And that’s good too. I guess what these articles are trying to say is to reduce the excess usage and disconnect once in a while. something I should start doing too! Maybe like a technology detoxification weekend or something! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Of course Google is a good resource and a one that should be used for research purposes where we don’t have to remember everything we read. The problem comes only from excess usage where we already know something but cannot remember it and then turn to Google for help. According to research that is not good for our memories. Google maps is an excellent resource to find a location but a dependency on it may not be so good.
    When we go to the library we pick and choose what we want to read, it becomes information that our brain stores.
    I do not think I will or even want to do without it, like I said it is a great resource, although I am going to try to limit the usage depending on the necessity of the hour.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is indeed a scary thought. More and more people are so dependent on technology that we are slowly losing our own skills as human beings. We are also teaching our children to depend on technology and from a young age. I hope this habit does not contribute to increase in Dementia statistics.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. There was a time when I knew all the phone numbers I needed on a regular basis (including restaurants and hotels that we used most at work) by heart, because we had to dial them. Now that all the numbers are stored in our phones we just need to remember the name of the person we want to call (and if we can’t even remember that we have their picture).
    I believe this a case where “what you don’t use you loose” 😉
    Good article 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Surely, this post had me thinking. Even recently I came across such an article on a psychology blog. Guess what ,I ignored it. I feel that technology has made us more impatient. Since it feeds our need for immediate gratification.

    I really cannot imagine living in a world without technology or smartphones or internet for that matter. I have been trying to unplug for quite a long time with no success. However,hopefully I shall break free from these fetters some day 🙂

    Happy weekend!
    Arcane owl

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel like my right arm has been cut off if I don’t have at least my computer. I try not to leave the house without my phone because what if I’m in an accident, or the car breaks down? I like my google maps too when I’m driving. I think it’s fine to Google things, Google is only like an index to other sources of information. In the past we would have had to consult an encyclopedia or go to the library, but our information would not have been as up-to-date as we get from Google. We don’t necessarily need to remember everything that we Google. It is a good idea to see how you get along without it though. Can you foresee a situation where you would have to do without it?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow, what a thought! And it does make sense. In my case, I don’t have much in the way of fancy technology, but I do notice that I have sort of a lonesome feel when I catch up with my e-mails. Sort of like “where is everybody.” I wonder if the future holds more dementia for people. Scary thought!

    Liked by 2 people

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