G – Googling My Memory Away

I am pretty sure Google is responsible for some of my memory loss, or not so much my memory loss, but my increasing inability to dig deep into the vaults of my brain and pull out useless tidbits of stored information.

I was talking to my Mom on the telephone the other day.  We were discussing Carmel, which is a really interesting little town on the coast of California, and she was asking me where did we normally stay when we were over that way.  And I couldn’t for the life of me remember.  I did recall the hotel name started with an “N”, but that was the only piece of information I could pull forth.  I pondered and pondered with all my might, but it was useless.  I eventually had to Google it.

And that got me thinking, I don’t really remember stuff like I used to, but of course, I don’t have to, because I have Google to fall back on.  That bothers me.  A lot. Because back when I was kid, it was a real chore to dig up facts.  One either had to look it up in an encyclopedia, or go to the library and go through the painful process of digging around in the card files (I really miss card files, with the long draws you could pull out all the way) and then go find the appropriate book, and then go to the index, and find the page that piece of information might be on.  And because this was such an arduous process, one made sure to remember the information, store it away in the memory for easy retrieval at a later date, or write it down somewhere.

But you don’t have to do any of that anymore.  You can Google stuff on your telephone, and find millions of entries, including videos and images of anything. It’s too easy, and the time taken to find the information, does not warrant really making sure you do remember the answer, because – you can always use Google to find it again.

So, is the easy access to Google destroying our memories?  I decided to Google that question and find out.  Apparently I am not the only one who is worried about the destruction of our ability to remember facts and information.  When I Googled – Is Google destroying our memory? – I was presented with 115,000,000 results. That’s a boatload of results. It turns out, because of our reliance on the Internet and smart phones, we are all suffering from digital amnesia.  We store everything in our phones – dates, appointments, passwords and make no effort to remember anything, because all that information is right at our fingertips.

I began considering what process I went through to try and recall the name of the hotel in Carmel.  As I said, I knew it started with an “N”, and I knew it was a name that was somehow European, so I went through the names of things that were European and started with “N” and I vaguely remembered it was an important name, like something super important had happened at the place in Europe with the same name, but I could never recall the name. It wasn’t until I Googled – Hotels in Carmel, that I came up with Normandy – The Normandy Inn.

Now I am thinking, what other skills are we losing, because we rely so heavily on the Internet, and sites such as Google.  Reading maps, remembering where places are and how to get there.  Birthdays, telephone numbers, account numbers, and the list goes on.  We don’t even have to have long conversations about who is right, who knows the right information,  because we can put a halt to the argument by simply finding that particular piece of information on our telephone instantly.

Perhaps I will start doing memory exercises. I will start with memorizing all of my family’s telephone numbers. And then, I was just talking to my Mum on the telephone, and we were talking about my post for today, and how we remember things, and how we recall events and experiences, and how nobody seems to sit without an electronic device in front of them anymore.  So, maybe I will just sit at the patio table out back, and look at my garden and think and remember, or just sit. My parents used to say, “Sometimes me sits and thinks, and sometimes me just sits.”

Would you like to join me? On the patio.  Remembering stuff. Or just sitting.


Photo credit: Walmart.com, thecolourbox.com, latino.foxnews.com

11 replies »

  1. Ooh, I’d love to join you! I’ll bring the sweets, I’d even bake it myself! Or buy from Whole Foods.


    I adore having all information right there for me to discover. To know if I have a question, I’ll find the answer (Most of the time. I recently wondered about the prevalence of shellfish allergies in the Caribbean, but couldn’t find much).

    And, believe it or not, when you said Europe and something important happening and N, I guessed Normandy! So maybe we don’t need Google.

    (Please don’t go away Google.)

    A Bit to Read

  2. I was just discussing this subject with my sister recently. I have been having trouble remembering certain things which to me is troubling. I however do not rely on Google and I have yet to use my phone as my memory base. My sister and I concluded my memory issues are one, and I don’t like to say this but yet it’s true, age, and, the fact that I have so much to be responsible for. My brain actually gets tired with all the information that I must carry with me on a day-to-day basis. For this reason at least one of them, I deliberately go out into a forest to get away and to bring relaxation to my brain. I remember the good old days as well and what it took to research in an encyclopedia. Oh yes we are talking before the internet. I still do like to do my research through a book believe it or not. Really great post! Thank you! 👏👏👏

    • Thank-you for the kind comments. I remember those days before the Internet – information was so harder to come by, but there wasn’t all that electronic background chatter – when people used to sit in the backyard and enjoy the evenings, the sunset, and weren’t all looking at their telephones. I miss those days!

      • I was just talking about those days too! Boy do I miss those days! Leaning on the fence chatting with the neighbor, sitting on patio chairs just talking or having a mutual companionable silence. This newer generation does not understand what they are missing out on. We most certainly do though!

      • Oh I miss those days too things seemed bit slower. We certainly didn’t have all of the conveniences we have today, but we also didn’t have the annoyances.

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