Over the years, many people have complained that some technological advances have done as much harm as good, from calculators taking away our need to learn math to spellcheck cleaning up our mistakes. Now it seems that Google, the massively popular internet search engine, is getting blamed for some of our forgetfulness. According to one study, having easy access to so much information online has been causing "digital amnesia" in pretty much the entire connected world. For example, the study found that 70 percent of parents don't recall their children's telephone numbers, and one of every two people in a relationship don't remember their partner's number. Such memory loss has been called the "Google effect," and it occurs because we know that we don't have to remember some things that are just a web search away. Whether such lapses are cause for concern is debatable, with some folks saying that having easy access to information doesn't make us dumber, while others argue that this mental life of leisure makes us more superficial.
Are you forgetting something?
- Generally speaking, it is believed that people's short-term memory allows us to keep about seven things in mind for roughly 30 seconds.
- Getting tested on material you want to remember has been shown to be at least as effective as studying it beforehand.
- While amnesia does occur, it is much more common to be unable to form new memories than to forget old ones.