Today’s modern society uses technology as if it is a close friend we can rely on. Google is one of the friends constantly being relied on for answers and useful information along with other search engines. Authors like Nicholas Carr, Peter Norvig, Genevieve Roberts and an infographic by onlinecolleges.net have explored the topic of “Is Google making us less intelligent.” The presence of Google is negatively affecting the intelligence of society by changing one’s memory, misinforming people and restricting brain power.
The “Google Effect”, which changes the way information is stored and handled is negatively changing one’s memory. There have been may studies done to uncover the truth and, “A recent study suggests 90 percent of us are suffering from digital amnesia.” (Source B) Nearly all of the people in the present are ready to forget important information in the belief they can easily retrieve it through technology which is a phenomenon known as digital
amnesia. This amnesia has shown that 70 percent of parents do not know their children's phone numbers. In the scenario of an emergency like an earthquake most parents would not be able to contact their children on a payphone or another person phone since they do not have it memorized. Professor Betsy Sparrow has elaborated by explaining, “Our brains rely on the internet for memory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend...We remember less though knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found” Society has grown accustomed to using the web as an extension of one’s memory. The Greek philosopher Socrates foresaw this consequence when he complained that new technologies “will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls.” The “Google Effect” is actively changing the memories of today’s society and not in a positive way.
The information Google provides at our fingertips is not always true. In fact it is negatively affecting our intelligence by providing false information. An infographic by onlinecolleges.net shows how, “The internet is filled with incorrect information, which may lead to being misinformed.” While skimming articles and surfing the internet, we are constantly being misinformed. Many of us have a gullible friend who probably tends to fall for internet hoaxes or misinformation. They may be unintentionally helping the internet spread this false information to our communities. An article titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” expressed that, “The net bombards us with messages and other bits of data and every one of those interruptions breaks our train of thought.” Whether the information provided is true or false, it is changing our mentality. Many people have heard someone tell us, “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet” and that is with good reason. It is often hard to detect false information however, it spreads the same as accurate information.Overall Google is negatively affecting our intelligence by creating confusion with false information it provides.
The internet has also started making it difficult for our brains to grow by restricting brain power. For instance, as author Nicholas Carr points out, “The fact is, you’ll never think deeply if you are always Googling, texting, and surfing.” Today we look for all our answers on Google, it has become first instinct to search up anything unknown. If a student has a question they would rather Google it then, discuss it with their peers, go to the library, or deeply think about it. Another article by the title of “Google Effect: Is technology making us stupid” expressed, “We’re missing the real danger...it’s through remembering we make connections with what we know, what we feel, and this gives rise to personal knowledge.. Many people are not creating deep, insightful connections, therefore we are not creating knowledge. Later in this article, they discussed a valid point that, no matter how many answers we Google, we will never be able to Google our way to brilliance. Brain power and intelligence will keep lessening if we rely on the web for all our knowledge. Some scholars may argue that today's technologies like Google “helps us live smarter.” In reality, the internet is creating more obstacles for today's society and is a disadvantage to our brain power. Search engines like Google are restricting our brain’s power to grow and form deep connections.
Technology like Google is a helpful tool modern society has but, it should not be relied on for everything. When we rely on the internet for knowledge there are significant consequences like how it changes one’s memory, provides inaccurate information and restricts brain power. There needs to be a balance between when the internet is relied on as a tool and when we use our brain power instead. This way society can take advantage of new technologies, however, they will not suffer the consequences.