There was an interesting report out recently that essentially states that using search engines has changed the way we remember things. In short, instead of ‘learning’ it seems that people simply go to a search engine to find answers to things they want to know.
As noted in the press release;
“Sparrow’s research reveals that we forget things we are confident we can find on the Internet. We are more likely to remember things we think are not available online. And we are better able to remember where to find something on the Internet than we are at remembering the information itself. This is believed to be the first research of its kind into the impact of search engines on human memory organization. “
Because of Google’s search dominance, they were calling it the ‘Google Effect’. Now of course, there will be the haters saying, “Look, yet another way Google is screwing up our lives!“ but that’s a bit unfair because they really are talking about search engines in general. But I may be in the minority on this one, at least according to the study.
And as a geek that spent much of his youth in libraries, before the age of the internet, I often find myself using search engines in the same way. It is the starting point on a path of discovery.
Anyway, here’s some more details for you;
And a vid for those too lazy to read (let alone remember things);