The Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips

Er. Sayantan Chakraborty

October 15, 2020, 12:34:27   

Many of us have constant access to information. We are so used to looking up for answer to any question immediately on Google that it can feel like withdrawal when we have to wait. Of course, storing information outside of our brains is nothing new. The Internet has become an external memory system that is primed by the need to acquire information. , for example, if asked the question whether there are any countries with only one colour in their flag, do we think really about flags? Or immediately think to go online to find out? The answer is very much evident in our practices. Once information has been accessed, our internal encoding is increased for where the information is to be found rather than for the information itself. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found. This gives us the advantage of access to a vast range of information, although the disadvantages of being constantly "wired or Wi-Fi'ed" are still being debated. It may be no more than nostalgia at this point, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets. We have become dependent on them to the same degree as we are dependent on all the knowledge we gain from our Teachers, friends and co-workers and lose if they are out of touch. The experience of losing our Internet connection becomes more and more like losing a friend. We must remain plugged in to know what Google knows. This has turned into a habit actually. The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can "Google" the old classmate, find articles online or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. This generation trend has become-when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and thats when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transitive memory, where information is stored collectively outside us. The internet has made it easy to find information. Any information that we need is now available at the click of a button. The internet has also made traditional sources of information such as books redundant. Nowadays people do not have to carry bulky paper books in their back pack. Instead, they can store eBooks on their laptop, Kindle or Smartphone. There are obvious benefits to this. EBooks do not occupy space. They are much less expensive than printed books and can be shared with anyone within a fraction of seconds. Internet has become the part and parcel of our life in today’s modern world. People use internet to search for specific information, to read novels and for many reasons. Surfing internet has become hobby for younger generations and it has definitely replaced bulky books. It is quite apparent that some years back books were our only source of information. Reading books would give us a lively feel be it a academic book or a novel. Books often have pictorial representation which clearly defines everything. Many people have the habit of reading books while travelling and in their bed time. On the other hand, Internet provides us all the information what we need, in one place. By the use of internet we could get all the information starting from cooking to research in one place. This is not the case in books as we need to pick different books for different topics. Kids learn more easily in internet compared to books. Technology is getting upgraded and schools now use different techniques to educate kids through internet. Kids of this generation have all the knowledge about using internet to get the information they need. So in future the percentage of internet users would increase drastically and it will have a positive impact in the growth of technology. We could also foresee many innovations and development in all the sectors because of predominant use of internet.

To conclude, though this trend has some negative impacts, its positive aspects outweigh the negative impacts. And also this trend will definitely help in bringing a change in our education system and also helps paving way for emerging technologies

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