Forget Her Birthday? No Problem. Web Will Remember For You

Human memory is atrophying and will one day join our tailbone as a useless vestigial organ. After all, what’s the point in remembering anything when the Internet remembers for us?

That’s the conclusion drawn by a team of psychologists after their experiments demonstrated that, in the words of Patricia Cohen in the New York Times, “the Internet has become our primary external storage system.” In one trial, “The subjects were significantly more likely to remember information if they thought they would not be able to find it later.”

The trouble with that is, there is little information we cannot retrieve online. So why bother to bear it in mind at all?

Even the team leader, Dr. Betsy Sparrow, admitted that she happily relies on an outside memory bank, only in this case it’s her spouse. “I love watching baseball,” she told the Times, “But I know my husband knows baseball facts, so when I want to know something I ask him, and I don’t bother to remember it.”

Details in Internet Use Affects Memory, Study Finds

Richard Curtis

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