Your say: Is Google making us dumb or is it helping us learn? 25



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This morning while reading an article, I came across a political term that I wasn’t familiar with. Straight away I whipped up Google, typed that word in and got the definition. Now I know what it means! Last week in the office we were discussing whether or not an over 60 celebrity has children. I was sure I knew the answer as I’d had a similar conversation with someone else recently but couldn’t recall it, so I Googled it to find out.

Google gives us access to a world of information we otherwise would never reach. We can ask a question and have it answered for us. While we were growing up we had to learn the hard way. We got told to use our brains and if we didn’t know something then it was straight to the encyclopaedia!

And it seems as though we were looking for knowledge the right way back then. The Daily Mail reports that a new study has found a correlation between cognitive ability and the frequency of Google use. People who have stronger cognitive skills and an ability to think analytically were less likely to pick up their phone to recall information or solve a problem.

The study authors said having permanent access to this host of information was making us lazy and we are beginning to stop extending our mind and using cognitive skills.

So today I want to know, what do you think? Do you think Google helps us to learn more or is it making us lazy and to be frank, dumb?

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  1. For the astute I think Google only eliminates the hours of searching for data. In the same manner you have to sort the wheat from the chaff. At unis we spent years committing long stats formulas to memory for exams but throughout my working carreer I always looked up formulas I was not using regularly. There are some things like conversions it definitely means you do not need formulas but does that matter? It is a time saver and eliminates a lot of unnecessary tasks and has saved face for me many times by correcting me before I made mistakes. For the non astute promulgates lots of urban legends as truth and they probably would not have done extensive research anyway.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes it is a time saver, and useful when my reference library has not kept up with the 21C. But the need to be astute cannot be overstated. But it does take away from the need to remember anything and what does that laziness do to our brains? I must admit when a question comes up at our monthly family Nights and the daughter whips out the Smart phone, I cringe. No space given for discussion, nor the aging memory. Interestingly it is not the grandies who are quick on the uptake.

  2. Agree with Rhonda Lewis, Google what you don’t know (like looking up an encyclopedia or reference book) and not only are you learning that but increasing your knowledge of how to get the best from modern technology

  3. Problem with Google: it puts a swift end to all those family arguments we used to enjoy so much.
    At least we can still have the philosophical arguments!

  4. When I can’t remember I use Google. Quick, fast, move on. Yes, I don’t spend time wracking my brain for answers that are in there somewhere. Yes. For me, lazy and dumb is probably right.

  5. Dictionaries and encyclopedias couldn’t keep up with the latest data the world is changing so fast so Google is my friend. I don’t think it is dumbing us down more to the point increasing our knowledge as any info we require is readily available. We still have to be smart enough to know how to phrase the question to get the answer we require – luckily most of us oldies are – don’t know about the young ones though. Reading some of the comments on FB we have wasted $’s on education if their spelling and grasp of the English language is anything to go by.

  6. It’s much the same as looking up the encyclopedia. Only the info from Google is up to date and easier to access. Whatever way you access the information, you are learning from it.

  7. Someone commented to me the other day that they have seen doctors using google in consultations!

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