Are new technologies changing our memory?
Little is known about the ability of technology to change our cognitive functions, particularly memory. What it seems, however, is that, gradually, this technology has become an extension of our memory.
We live in a very dynamic and complex society, whose information is rapidly changing. More than this, this "information" seems to replicate without control. With the internet search engines, Google, Yahoo, among others, we are developing much more strategies to "find" what we seek than to properly "remember" what we want. So, maybe you do not remember, be ready, a country's capital, but with access to the internet and Google, you know how to find this answer easily.
Neurologists have always divided memory into memory of work, short memory and long memory . The fact is that today we have at disposal a virtual memory with the capacity to store and retrieve information much more easily than we do. The difference is that this memory is located "outside" the human body and is collective, that is, it does not belong to just one individual.
One of the benefits of being able to rely on an online database is to leave the brain free to store contents. So in the phone book, in the notebook and using Google you look for a colleague's phone, the exact location of the appointment or the capital of a country, respectively. The bad of this technology is the dependency that is created. Who, after all, was never angry about the internet that did not work?
Technology has inexorably changed our relationship with cognitive functions, and this process, from now on, seems to me irreversible. It is up to us to "filter" what is useful information, because the advent of this same technology has brought with it disruptive junk mail, which generates anxiety and delays the search for "real" information.
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