How Google Might Be Replacing Your Loved Ones

Have you ever had a long-term partner or best friend, one who you had experienced all sorts of things with — from vacations to birthdays to binge-watching television? And have you ever failed to grasp at a name of fact around that person? Maybe you were trying to remember specifics of a show you both watched years ago, and you required some team effort to pinpoint the pertinent details.
Remember that show with the robots, the one where they blow up all the humans?
Oh, yeah – Battlestar Gallactica?
Yeah! What was that guy's name — the scientist dude?
It starts with a "B" I think?
Yep, Balthar.
In essence, both people have partial memories of any event. Your brain, because it's a bit lazy and can only retain so much information at any time, grows to depend on those around you to fill in the blanks. If your best friend is super-good at remembering birthdays, and you know you can depend on her to remind you of important birthdays, then you brain actually delegates the remembering to her. And, maybe you're great at remembering people's names — she might subconsciously delegate remembering names to you.
In this way, we're linked with our families and friends, all sharing the responsibility for remembering the past.
But, the Internet is changing a lot of that. In his new book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better, Wired columnist Clive Thompson explores how our minds adapt to current technology.
What's changed rapidly in the past 20 years is the ubiquity of information available through search engines. Since our brains are already eager to share the burden of remembering, scientists believe that we're actually treating Google much like we used to treat our loved ones — we know Google remembers the name of the actor who plays Todd on Breaking Bad, so we might be less likely to remember it ourselves.
So, does this mean we're doomed, memory-wise, and that machines are making us dumber? Not quite, Thompson says — the Internet is just an extension of a practice that's been around from the dawn of time. Our memories have always been collective, now we've just included computers in the deal. (Slate)
googleloveImage: Via Google.

More from Wellness

I had just ended my second “serious relationship” and had been back in the usual rotation of dating apps when I met Drew*. Drew was a man that my mother ...
As you might have heard by now, the first black moon since 2014 will rise this Friday night. As ominous as it sounds, the black moon is just another term...
If you've ever felt like you get more out of your workout while exercising with a partner, it's not just your imagination. According to a study published ...
When it comes to rock climbing, an all-or-nothing approach is key
Summer is over (for real). So it's time to face the facts: You're going to get a cold. Actually, you're probably going to get colds — plural. The average ...
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that sexting can be great for your relationship. Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a while or you’re just ...
The pelvic exam — complete with the stirrups and the speculum — isn't anyone's favorite thing about having a vagina. But it's really important because it's...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Heartbreak doesn’t just hurt, it often feels impossible. So many questions come along with the pain: How can I move on? How do I get through this? Will it ...
In next month's The Girl on the Train (based on Paula Hawkins' book of the same name), Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, a woman with alcoholism who finds ...
Earlier this year, it was reported that women are having kids later than ever — and now we may know why. According to research from the Fertility ...
I know the feeling — you're planning to exercise, but you get home after a long day and it just. Feels. Impossible. Maybe you can make yourself change into...
With the ubiquity of the Dougie, the whip, and the New Jersey running man in popular culture, many have probably accepted these dances as mere trends. In...
One mom has a bone to pick with modern-day parenting, and it all has to do with vitamins. In a now-viral Facebook post, Bunmi Laditan lamented the ...