There’s evidence that information gathering via Internet search has altered human cognitive behavioral function in the areas of information processing, reward processing and control. Being able to search rapidly and widely for a solution increases the ability and speed with which critical problems can be solved, in a way impossible before the Internet. It seems that now we work smarter than ever before.
The Internet aids those with unimpaired and impaired memory alike
Accessing Internet resources like Google can serve as memory support for those who have some impairment, as well as those who don’t. It’s changed the doctor patient relationship and the treatment process for the better. Search engines can help those with faulty memory by reducing their need to store facts and extraneous data in their heads (Kennedy, 2015).
Education in Medicine notes that doctors should effectively use Internet resources available to them. Medicine works better when both patients and doctors read and analyze new data. Patients who have firsthand familiarity with their problems can often bring important research they have uncovered to their doctors, aiding in both diagnosis and treatment. When dealing with illness and many other problems that need to be solved, we’re seeking to identify both cause and solution.
Google changes thought patterns – an evolutionary enhancement
Man has evolved over the last 200,000 years, learning how to find food and shelter more effectively with tools. In the process, we have participated in ever evolving oral and written communication. Moving from nomadic cultures to living in agrarian and technical societies, we have become more knowledgeable and more effective. Each step of the way, we’ve increased our skills, organizational function and cultural abilities, learning to create structures of abstract and physical nature to aid us in better living. Google is part of that ability structure and perhaps a far more powerful tool than any ever used before in the history of man.
Google is far more than the acquisition of shallow information or a quick fix for a lazy or defective memory. It can give every one of us the ability to have the best education available anywhere and one that is specifically tailored to our interests and needs. Knowledge is power and in Google we find a magnificent intellectual tool that can empower us as individuals and as a worldwide collective. If the downside is a tiny bit of Internet addiction that can be fixed with reeducation like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, so be it. Multitasking enabled by Google’s search engine is a different, more effective way of doing things, not an impediment to cognition. Google succeeds brilliantly in their global mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.
by Linda Kaidan