The Internet And Our Brains

Back in the day, people used to say that TV would rot your brain. Then it became video game consoles like NintendoSega, and then eventually Playstation and XBox. Well the tradition seems to continue. This time it’s “Google will rot your brain.”


People have been addicted to the Internet since it first came out. That’s nothing surprising. Nowadays with the instantaneous and easy access to the internet, we’re relying on it too much.

The use of search engines, Google especially, for knowledge has reached new levels. New levels of dependence. Cognitively, it is our memory that is suffering due to this trend.

In fact, our ever increasing dependence on search engines has led them to be viewed as an extension of our intelligence. It’s no longer perceived as a useful tool. Rather, it creates a false sense of knowledge.

What the Research Says

A Harvard study carried out a series of tests. They asked students to answer trivia questions. Some used Google to search for answers. Others didn’t.

The results showed a peculiar pattern. Participants who took advantage of Google searching rated their intellect very high. More so than those who correctly answered the questions without Google.

Where psychologists are concerned is in the relationship between human and computer. According to them, the Internet is replacing another inpidual—another inpidual to whom we’d share our memories or knowledge with.

Losing our Minds

Instead of this human to human interaction, we’re—as psychologists Daniel Wegner and Adrian Ward put it—”off-loading memories to ‘the cloud’ just as readily as we would to a family member, friend or lover.”

Not only does this weaken human to human relations. By not learning and sharing, we’re undermining our own ability to remember. Because of the instantaneous access to answers via search engines, we’ve substituted them for using our memory.

This is why in other tests, researchers found that people who thought information was stored on the computer were on the whole more forgetful. Those who thought it had been deleted or erased had better recall of the info.

In a related area, in college classrooms, students are more and more writing notes on laptops. Obviously, being distracted by your computer means you won’t learn. But the act of NOT writing notes is detrimental to the ability to retain knowledge.

The physical act of writing notes has been shown to increase people’s recall of information. While one might diligently type everything said in class, it requires less brain power than writing on a good ole piece of lined paper.

What’s more worrisome is how to stem this shift towards complete dependence on search engines. Conceivably, it can only get worse based on its present trajectory. The act of talking to another being and writing cannot fade from existence!

You Might Also Enjoy...

What We Can Do If Your Child Is Afraid of the Dentist

Unfamiliar surroundings, loud noises, and the close contact that comes with your child’s visits to the dentist can lay the groundwork for dental anxiety. Our goal is to set them at ease, right from the start. And you can help, too.

Why Invisalign® Might Be Right for You

Straight teeth that line up beautifully do far more than lend themselves to your great smile. There are many advantages for having straight teeth and even more when you straighten them with Invisalign®.

What to Expect With a Root Canal Procedure

You have an infection in your tooth and, in order to save that tooth and ease your pain, we’re going to perform a quick-and-easy root canal procedure. Here’s a step-by-step look at this frontline treatment.

The Importance of Dental Exams

Did you know that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, most often due to decay or gum disease? To avoid becoming part of this statistic, dental exams are your first line of defense.

The Difference Between Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges are true workhorses — both helping to preserve your dental health in valuable ways. Here’s a look at the difference between the two, and how each may give you something to smile about.

Missing a Tooth? Fix it With a Dental Implant

A missing tooth is more than an inconvenience. It’s a breakdown in the system that maintains your oral health, starts digestion, and permits effective communication. The best way to replace any missing tooth is with dental implants.