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Plasmin

Is Google making us stupid?

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people now search up everything on Google. They've stopped thinking for themselves.

 

Reading @rosequartz 's words made me think of the place of technology and internet (Google) in our lives. So I did a little research to try to understand the phenomenon and its effects on our brain.

 

Here are some interesting articles I found on the subject (Thank you Google):

  • "Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips" By Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner

Abstract: " The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves."

 

You can check the full article on this link: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/pdfs/science.1207745.full.pdf

 

  • Does Continual Googling Really Make You Stupid?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-constant-googling-really-make-you-stupid/

 

*********************

Here's my opinion:

 

The brain is not a static organ and keeps modifying according to the changes in the environment... It creates new connections and pathways to adapt (cf. Brain plasticity). Today we have made a lot of discoveries, so no one can memorize everything. It's therefore important to know where and how to find information quickly and efficiently.

 

When we don't have to memorize every little detail, we can use the parts of our brain to learn new things and improve other abilities. The internet becomes a new external “brain” where we stock all the information and access it whenever we want/need to. Google is a great tool for that.

 

The important thing is not to become completely dependent and to be able to function normally if there's a problem or the internet/laptop/... are temporary inaccessible.

 

Of course Google/the internet will never replace learning and studying but it helps a lot !

 

Plus, without the internet, we wouldn't be able to exchange information and have this discussion ;)

 

I think google can make us smarter, what do you think?

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I agree @Plasmin. I think that Google can make us smarter if used correctly - but I still struggle with the idea that Google hinders our ability to recall information- Internet is now our storage memory.

 

 

A good example is that ten years ago I had my top ten numbers - family, friends phone numbers engrained in my mind and now I still remember those numbers but can't remember the last 4 digits of my credit card since everything is mobile. I think we aren't practicing/stretching our memory so that's why in today's world it is harder to remember things than back then. Back then, our lives depended on it :)

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Thank you for the tag @Plasmin, the links above are a great read.

 

First off (this probably goes against me and supports what one of the articles suggests lol), I've lost the thought that led me to comment so in the other thread. In all honesty, it wasn't meant to degrade peoples intelligence (sincerest apologies if it comes across so).

 

As for whether technology and Google make us smarter or not depends on how we use or abuse them. In either case, they have transformed the way we think, hopefully for the better, by developing some of our cognitive skills at the expense of others. But through it all, the appreciation for self-thinking, retaining information in long-term memory and patience has been lost. And it makes one wonder, why would we want to trust Google as an external brain to store long-term knowledge and not our internal brains? Wouldn't the extra knowledge within our brains facilitate our critical thinking?

 

Even so, I wouldn't say technology (or Google) makes us stupid. It exposes us to a lot more information which challenges our brains to acclimate to the pace of the internet and technological advances. So, I think the debate shouldn't be on how technology (or Google) affects our intellectual capabilities, but rather how our brains function alongside or hand-in-hand with technology and if we should be or already are ready to embrace this.

 

Of course Google/the internet will never replace learning and studying but it helps a lot !

 

Plus, without the internet, we wouldn't be able to exchange information and have this discussion ;)

 

True. :) The internet is a marvelous invention which has made me knowledgeable about a lot of things and has played a huge role in shaping me as a person, and helped me meet like minded people and make great friends from all over the world. It's convenient and efficient and I couldn't ask for anything better.

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Here's my opinion:

 

The brain is not a static organ and keeps modifying according to the changes in the environment... It creates new connections and pathways to adapt (cf. Brain plasticity). Today we have made a lot of discoveries, so no one can memorize everything. It's therefore important to know where and how to find information quickly and efficiently.

 

When we don't have to memorize every little detail, we can use the parts of our brain to learn new things and improve other abilities. The internet becomes a new external “brain” where we stock all the information and access it whenever we want/need to. Google is a great tool for that.

 

The important thing is not to become completely dependent and to be able to function normally if there's a problem or the internet/laptop/... are temporary inaccessible.

 

Of course Google/the internet will never replace learning and studying but it helps a lot !

 

Plus, without the internet, we wouldn't be able to exchange information and have this discussion ;)

 

I think google can make us smarter, what do you think?

 

Here's mine:

 

I agree that nowadays we have made a lot of discoveries. But, I don't agree with, "so no one can memorize everything." We can if we want to. We just don't. The only thing that limits us to not being able to store everything in our minds is the variable of time.

 

We can memorize everything in addition to learning new things and improving different abilities. Our brains are very advanced. The only problem is, we don't stretch ourselves to our limits.

 

I think Google is a sort of blessing. You can use it to quickly brush up on facts you know.

Whenever an idea pops into my head, I can search it on Google to find out what others think about the same thing or if someone has ever gotten the same idea as me. Also, after getting information off Google I can build up my ideas on said info.

 

 

Your right. This discussion wouldn't have existed without the internet. ^_^

 

 

And it makes one wonder, why would we want to trust Google as an external brain to store long-term knowledge and not our internal brains? Wouldn't the extra knowledge within our brains facilitate our critical thinking?

 

Even so, I wouldn't say technology (or Google) makes us stupid. It exposes us to a lot more information which challenges our brains to acclimate to the pace of the internet and technological advances. So, I think the debate shouldn't be on how technology (or Google) affects our intellectual capabilities, but rather how our brains function alongside or hand-in-hand with technology and if we should be or already are ready to embrace this.

 

 

 

True. :) The internet is a marvelous invention which has made me knowledgeable about a lot of things and has played a huge role in shaping me as a person, and helped me meet like minded people and make great friends from all over the world. It's convenient and efficient and I couldn't ask for anything better.

 

The very thing I'm trying to say.

=)

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Thank you all for your answers!

 

In all honesty, it wasn't meant to degrade peoples intelligence (sincerest apologies if it comes across so)

Oh, don't worry! I know you didn't mean to degrade people’s intelligence. It's just that I found your comment really interesting, it made me think of starting this discussion that's why I quoted you. :)

 

It exposes us to a lot more information which challenges our brains to acclimate to the pace of the internet and technological advances. So, I think the debate shouldn't be on how technology (or Google) affects our intellectual capabilities, but rather how our brains function alongside or hand-in-hand with technology and if we should be or already are ready to embrace this.

You're right! Maybe we need more time to acclimate to the technological advances. It’s just too fast, everyday there’s something new.

 

I think it’s easier for young people: a 3 year old is now used to playing on ipads. They learn really fast (sometimes without any help) how to use it, while some older people (my grandparents for example) are still surprised by everything humans managed to invent and struggle with touch screens.

 

But, I don't agree with, "so no one can memorize everything." We can if we want to. We just don't. The only thing that limits us to not being able to store everything in our minds is the variable of time.

 

We can memorize everything in addition to learning new things and improving different abilities. Our brains are very advanced. The only problem is, we don't stretch ourselves to our limits.

 

I'm not sure that we can memorize everything.

Through history we used many tools that had a strong impact on our cognitive capacities (especially memory): writing, books ... Aren't books another "external brains" we use to stock memories? Maybe this means that we can't know everything and that's why we are always developing ways to store information?

 

But I don't have enough evidence to say if we can or cannot, so I'm wondering: "do we NEED to memorize everything?"

As MedEdGuru said:

I think we aren't practicing/stretching our memory so that's why in today's world it is harder to remember things than back then. Back then, our lives depended on it

That made me think, do we need to "stretch ourselves to our limits." ? Do we need something if our life doesn't depend on it anymore?

I'm not sure, I'll say yes just because I'm really curious to see how far we can go, but that is probably easier said than done. ;)

 

The internet is a marvelous invention which has made me knowledgeable about a lot of things and has played a huge role in shaping me as a person, and helped me meet like minded people and make great friends from all over the world. It's convenient and efficient and I couldn't ask for anything better.

@rosequartz I couldn't have said it better myself! :)

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The very thing I'm trying to say.

=)

 

I love how we think the same. :)

 

Oh, don't worry! I know you didn't mean to degrade people’s intelligence. It's just that I found your comment really interesting, it made me think of starting this discussion that's why I quoted you. :)

 

I'm glad about that! :)

 

You're right! Maybe we need more time to acclimate to the technological advances. It’s just too fast, everyday there’s something new.

 

I think it’s easier for young people: a 3 year old is now used to playing on ipads. They learn really fast (sometimes without any help) how to use it, while some older people (my grandparents for example) are still surprised by everything humans managed to invent and struggle with touch screens.

 

Yes, and it's sometimes astonishing to know how many inventions make the news just over one night.

 

Exactly, I completely agree with you there. That makes me envy those 3 year old's who already have ipads and they'll be way more tech savvy than me by the time they're my age lol. But, I can't complain as I'm enjoying my share. :)

 

That made me think, do we need to "stretch ourselves to our limits." ? Do we need something if our life doesn't depend on it anymore?

I'm not sure, I'll say yes just because I'm really curious to see how far we can go, but that is probably easier said than done. ;)

 

I think we associate a lot of things in our lives with our memories, which do play a role in our learning. I for one would certainly like to stretch my memory, possibly develop a photographic memory which would make life a lot easier.

I would like to know the limits to our memory. Definitely. ;)

Wonder if we could find test subjects here who'd be willing to take the challenge! :D

 

I couldn't have said it better myself! :)

 

I'm glad you agree. But I wouldn't want to pass on the opportunity to meet my online friends in person. :)

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Is Google making us stupid?

 

I would say Yes and No.

 

I would agree that nowadays if someone does not know the answer to something the first thing they do is "Google it" or "Ask Siri". Doing this can be very bad because the person looking for the answer is not really challenging themselves. When kids are growing up at times you want to challenge them, it helps with development. We are now bypassing the thinking, and challenging ourselves and immediately looking for a direct answer.

 

The other argument would be that having Google is GREAT! If you don't know the answer you can simply find it and find many different explanations for why this is the answer. I remember in primary school when asking the professor a question that they would not know; they usually would say "Ill get back to you on that one". However now they can immediately provide a answer for you just by using their smartphone and Google.

 

I use Google just about daily, for everything. I don't think the current generation will understand a world without Google. It will be hard to explain to them that there were times when you needed a answer you would have to go to the library look it up or ask multiple people.

 

As long as the person challenges themselves and doesn't directly go to google I personally think its not making us any more stupid.

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I'm not sure that we can memorize everything.

Through history we used many tools that had a strong impact on our cognitive capacities (especially memory): writing, books ... Aren't books another "external brains" we use to stock memories? Maybe this means that we can't know everything and that's why we are always developing ways to store information?

 

But I don't have enough evidence to say if we can or cannot, so I'm wondering: "do we NEED to memorize everything?"

As MedEdGuru said:

 

That made me think, do we need to "stretch ourselves to our limits." ? Do we need something if our life doesn't depend on it anymore?

I'm not sure, I'll say yes just because I'm really curious to see how far we can go, but that is probably easier said than done. ;)

 

Oh, we can.

Books were made so that, people who have not heard about or studied something yet, can have a record to check from. Books are not used as 'external brains'.

I would want to stretch myself to my limits. Otherwise, I would always feel that I haven't really done everything I could have done. My life would feel useless and incomplete.

 

I love how we think the same. :)

 

I think we associate a lot of things in our lives with our memories, which do play a role in our learning. I for one would certainly like to stretch my memory, possibly develop a photographic memory which would make life a lot easier.

I would like to know the limits to our memory. Definitely. ;)

Wonder if we could find test subjects here who'd be willing to take the challenge! :D

 

 

Me too! =)

 

How about Plasmin as a test subject?

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Oh, we can.

Books were made so that, people who have not heard about or studied something yet, can have a record to check from. Books are not used as 'external brains'.

I would want to stretch myself to my limits. Otherwise, I would always feel that I haven't really done everything I could have done. My life would feel useless and incomplete.

In medical school now we're told that we dont have time for books. They consume too much time and contain too much information thats not needed. For example take some Organic Chemistry books they are 400+ pages, all that material can be covered in 100 power point slides.

 

Me too! =)

 

How about Plasmin as a test subject?

I think @Plasmin would be a great test subject =D

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Is Google making us stupid?

As long as the person challenges themselves and doesn't directly go to google I personally think its not making us any more stupid.

I hope people continue doing so because right the other day in the library, I saw people searching up the questions on a survey asking them to

rate things on a scale of 1 to 5. I mean you don't need to Google survey questions especially rating ones as the purpose is to get your opinion

on it not what Google or the web community thinks.

 

How about Plasmin as a test subject?

Haha! Why not! :D

 

In medical school now we're told that we dont have time for books. They consume too much time and contain too much information thats not needed. For example take some Organic Chemistry books they are 400+ pages, all that material can be covered in 100 power point slides.

I think the books could be shortened further due to the advances in technology and research, but books can't be left out completely. If there wasn't a need for them, they wouldn't still be required on the curriculum. The world is still at a conflict on transitioning from paper to a flat screen.

 

I think @Plasmin would be a great test subject =D

:rolleyes: I think another medical student would be a great one as well.

 

Hahaha I'll be happy to help! :cool:

Ooo, so we have a challenger to Nelson Dellis ready to go down in the history books like the amazing Shereshevsky. :D

Salute your spirit! :thumbsup:

 

Check this article out when there's time guys.

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In medical school now we're told that we dont have time for books. They consume too much time and contain too much information thats not needed. For example take some Organic Chemistry books they are 400+ pages, all that material can be covered in 100 power point slides.

 

 

I think @Plasmin would be a great test subject =D

 

Yea. True. All that information can be congested into a 100 power point slides.

 

I'm glad that you agree about Plasmin. ^-^

 

Hahaha I'll be happy to help! :cool:

 

Thanks Plasmin! I will be waiting to hear about your fame, after your successful in your experiment.

 

 

Haha! Why not! :D

 

 

 

:rolleyes: I think another medical student would be a great one as well.

 

 

Ooo, so we have a challenger to Nelson Dellis ready to go down in the history books like the amazing Shereshevsky. :D

Salute your spirit! :thumbsup:

 

 

Thanks for agreeing, Rose!

 

If your talking about, who I think your talking about then, maybe they aren't that perfect as a candidate. Because, they didn't volunteer.

 

I salute it too!

 

Rose, think about how amazing history will be then!

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Thanks for agreeing, Rose!

If your talking about, who I think your talking about then, maybe they aren't that perfect as a candidate. Because, they didn't volunteer.

I salute it too!

Rose, think about how amazing history will be then!

 

I loved the idea. ^-^

Yup, I think you've got it. It's a mighty undertaking, wouldn't blame anyone.

Absolutely! History's in good hands Fel :D

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Google has become infinitely better at determining credibility, though when I see plagiarists like Dr. Mercola or the other one (I forget his name) sitting near the top of search results for health/medical-related searches I can't say I see no room for improvement.

 

Generally speaking though, Google will get you accurate results more often than not, and YouTube is a wealth of self-learning videos on all topics. Between Google, YouTube and Bing (which is still surprisingly popular and occasionally produces better results than Google, you should be able to find the answer to nearly any question.

 

For what it's worth, Google was a tremendous help to me upon opening my clinic. My son built me a website as a gift, and Google showed my clinic website in search to prospective patients seeking a new doctor or one with my areas of specialty. It took almost no time to go from new with no patients to LANP's Nurse Practitioner of the Year (this was before I was a doctor). I would wager that Google's ability to fill my schedule had more than a little to do with that.

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The time has come where some can't live without Google. I tend to use it quite often and don't think it has any major impacts on me in terms of being "stupid".

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I think google did make us stupid, before we would learn critical thinking skills, if we didnt know something we would think about it now we just ask google....

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