Are Electronic Devices Killing Our Memories?

A tool is only as good as its user.

We have reached the tail end of Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and our family has already spent time talking about the purpose of the day and enjoying far too much barbecue.

Intermixed with it all I have had three different moments where I found myself reaching for my phone so I could Google the answers to some questions on a variety of topics.

There is nothing unusual with having to Google the answers to questions because none of us knows the answer to everything.

That is certainly true of me but two of the three times I reluctantly grabbed the phone because I knew I knew the answer to the questions except I just couldn’t remember it.

And it bothered me.

Bothered me because my memory for most things is solid.  I am usually one of the people you want on your team for trivia games because I remember…stuff.

But not this time.

Are Electronic Devices Killing Our Memories?

After the second moment of it just slipped my mind I wondered if my daily use of electronic devices has impacted my memory.

In the old days when I made a telephone call I rarely used a phone book because I only needed to hear a number once or twice to remember it.

But now I don’t call by number, now I type in the name of whomever I am calling and the phone works its magic.

“Never memorize something that you can look up.” ― Albert Einstein

If my old friend Al were here I’d ask him if living during the digital age made him reconsider his position or if it solidified it.

In concept I agree with it, but in practice I worry about it, not so much for me but for our children.

I want them to be able to answer the question of what happens if your phone/tablet/computer isn’t working or unavailable with “it doesn’t matter because I know how to figure it out without those devices.”

We have access to more information with greater ease than at any other time in the history of mankind. That is a gift, but I would hate to think it comes at the cost of our memories.

Or maybe I should clarify and say a portion of our memories. What about you? What do you think?


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