Google is Making Us Dumber

The Internet is huge. We can find anything we need in a matter of seconds. But are we becoming dependent on the web for information rather than retaining it ourselves?

No longer will curiosity kill the cat.

Today, the cat could just Google it. Or maybe Youtube it. But whatever it does, it definitely would defuse it’s curiosity with a web search before driving itself to death over the issue.

I’ve noticed something over the last couple months when out at dinner. It seems almost every conversation ends with someone "looking it up" on their iPhone. And often the next conversation begins with a cute Youtube video that "you got to see."

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is awesome we can settle five dollar bets about the speed of a cheetah on-the-spot at a coffee shop. More money for me. But, at the same time, I think there has got to be something negative here.

Here’s my theory. Rather than making us smarter, the massive amount of information on the web actually makes us less knowledgeable. We’re dependent on Google, just like we depend on calculators to solve double-digit multiplication. Why would I remember something when I can just Google it?

Google says in its mission statement that the search engine’s goal is "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Clearly, Google views information on the web as a commodity. And this philosophy is carrying over into the heads of Internet users.

We don’t want to retain knowledge anymore, just like we don’t want to churn our own butter. We would much rather quickly access the information we need, just like we would much rather purchase a stick a butter.

The web is huge. Far more expansive than any human brain could be. Google sifts through over 45 billion webpages during a search. That is over 45 billion pieces of information that is literally at our fingertips.

No one is dumb enough to waste their time storing information in their brain when our hands hold the key to a seemingly infinite amount of knowledge.

As anti-Google as this seems, I am very pro-Google. It is not necessarily a bad thing we don’t retain information as well since Google is sometimes faster than our brains. And I think it’s great we can settle debates with a quick search.

Obviously, Google is successful for a reason. It will be celebrating it’s 13th birthday soon.

Now does anyone know where I could go to get information about it?

Do you think the Internet is making us disconnected socially?