Google: Good or Bad for you?

by Michael Haberman on July 22, 2013 · 3 comments


If you are like me Googling (as the verb) has become an easy habit. It is about the quickest way to get answer so many of us rely on it for answers. A recent video however has raised the question on whether conducting a Google search is good or bad for you.

Google has changed our brains

Author Lisa Miller has posted a video on AcademicEarth.org showing how engaging in the act of conducting a Google search has changed the way in which our brains process information. According to Miller studies have shown that college students retain less information when they know they can go look something up on Google. To me it appears people don’t need to remember because it is so easy to look up answers. In days past it might have taken more time to run to the library to find an answer. Because of the effort you wrote it down and ultimately retained that information to a greater extent because the pain of having to look for it a second time was not worth the effort. So you remembered the information and then might have it “available” for another time. Today that does not seem to be the case. Why remember it when the answer is at your fingertips as needed.

The study shows that are brains are being trained to disregard more and more information. I will be interested to read your comments to see if you have experienced this “Google Effect” as it is known. This video is a short, but very interesting, one.

Created by AcademicEarth.org

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Beverly McBrayer July 23, 2013 at 8:10 am

To google something is easy so we do not have to remember what or where, we only have to know how to pull it up again. Companies are adding to this skill through their Company Intranets and links. It is quicker answers but our minds do not think outside of the information that we find to see if there are other answers. Our minds are becoming lazy to thought. I can remember a time that I knew ever phone number and address for family and friends. Today, I cannot tell you anyone’s phone number and very few addresses because they are on my cell phone and the automatic dial.

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Jennifer Miller July 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Beverly, I am in the same boat. I used to remember everyone’s phone number, now I am lucky I know my husbands cell number. Do you think not having to remember things like family phone numbers and addresses has made way for our brains to remember other more important stuff?

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Jennifer Miller July 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

I like to think that having information at my fingertips allows me to get past the trivial information and delve into the real meat of an issue faster. When I am faced with an issue, I am able to quickly find background information that will help me make an informed decision on how to proceed. With that process taking so much less time, I am able to focus more time on the actual issue at hand allowing me to better develop solutions quickly.

Also, I find that having so much information at my fingertips allows me to learn things that I had never had the time to go look up before. As the video said, we used to have to spend time in the library finding information to our questions, now we can ask Google anything and it will be able to give an answer instantaneously. This ability to find answers to questions that I never would have taken the time to find before has had a huge impact on my decision making. I am able to make better informed decisions on everything from cooking for my family to building my business.

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