Technology and the Warping of Our Memories

I found this article so disconcerting and so unforgettable that I had to share snippets of it here to elicit your opinions. Straight from my favorite Huffington Post.


1.  Information overload makes it harder to retain information.

2.  The Internet is becoming the brain’s “external hard drive.”

3.  Distraction makes it more difficult to form memories.

4.  Information overload causes us to lose sight of the big picture (and then the small picture).

5.  Millennials’ memories are rapidly degenerating.

I Google everything and anything. If I don’t know the answer to a question, my first “go-to” to find out isn’t to call around to friends and family. I “Google it”.
If I need to remember something really important, I type it in an e-mail and send it to myself.
If I’m in the middle of a conversation and my phone rings or bleeps it takes all my inner strength not to “take a quick peek” to see who called or texted me.
Am I ever NOT on my computer or my iPhone?
My kids are worse than I am.


Posted on December 13, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Patti, it’s more a generation thing. As parents we will spend less time … our kids more savvy will spend more time … the grandkids will spend the most because they have no “memory” of hard copies, manual typewriters, phones with cradles that you actually “hung up,” or dozens of other things that are no longer in existence.

    Is progress actually regression? Who knows. It’s for damn sure I won’t live to find the answer to that one and BTW … I google everything and find answers in minutes I used to spend hours in libraries to find 🙂

  2. I feel as though my memory is shot and I’d love to have something to blame. I agree that the way we live our lives has changed due to technology, but that has always been the case. Are we better off because of it–sometimes yes and sometimes no. Technology is simply a way of life. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Patti, I suspect the technology gains in the area of memory enhancement will more than compensate for any losses. The future will be bright. Cheers, Ashley

  4. I’ve had to discipline myself to turn off programs and notifications, and not to jump for my iPhone every time I want to check on something. It’s hard, Patti. But at the same time, it’s so wonderful that at the click of a button, we can be connected to the world. 🙂

  5. The idea that people should memorize and retain a lot of trivial information is a byproduct of the Industrial Revolution. In the Information Age, we store the trivial information externally so that we can make room in our brains for more important things. Of course, we waste a lot of our *attention* on trivial things now, perhaps more than ever. That’s a matter of discipline, and something I need to get better at. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I think you ALL summed it up so well for me: the information age has brought us a tremendous amount of knowledge the ordinary individual would never have access to — and that’s so cool. And, as Andrea said, we don’t need to “store” all the trivial info any longer. We can save our “brain space” for more important things. But we must discipline ourselves to not “waste” our time on a bunch of trivialities along the way.
    Thanks all!

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