Computer and Internet Usage Affect Our Memory

October 17, 2011 By: admin

Computer and internet have made our lives much easier but at the same time they also alters our natural routine behavior. Nowadays, it became a common habit to search internet for every piece of information we need. An information for which our brain had to search into its depth memory is readily available at a single click, resultantly we use our brains less than we used to in past.
An average computer user is forced to increasing his computer memory each year to overcome his needs. Do you know that the first commercial hard disk made by IBM in 1956 could store only 5 million characters, in other words, it was only 5mb in size. The commercial hard disk capacity stayed below 100MB until IBM introduced its first 100 MB hard disk. First Gigabyte hard disk was introduced in 1980, it was priced at $40,000 and it weighted around 250kg with size of almost a refrigerator. Disk capacity kept increasing and in 2007, first Terabyte hard disk was introduced by Hitachi. In 2011, at the time I am writing this piece of information, a common PC user can buy (1.5 Terabyte) hard disk in around $50 and it weights around 700gms. One can easily hold it in his hand and this little box like device can store 1649267441664 characters into its memory.
We are continuously increasing of computer memory but at the same time we are continuously decreasing our need to memorize information. If an average computer user can store 1649267441664 characters of information in his pc, why would he bother to memorize anything? Do you know that spell checker applications like MS Word have eased us so much that we don’t memorize spellings of many lengthy and difficult English words? That’s because we know that we can easily correct our spell mistakes by using spell checkers.
Spending 24 hours in front of computer screen can give us a lot of information but our mind won’t be able to store all that information and to retrieve it at the desired time. A couple of decades back, most of us were not very familiar with computers and we had to memorize all required information in our brain but now we are dependent on computers. Research shows that continuous use of computer and internet is adversely affecting our memory. That’s because our memory work is being shared by computers. Our dependency on computers made us idle and we don’t want to do any work that involves brain. We are becoming a victim of short term and sometimes even major memory loss.
A recent research shows that children and young students no longer feel comfortable while memorizing difficult questions rather they prefer to search on internet and find their answers. They only want to memorize easy to remember questions. This is an alarming situation, if this trend continues then one day, every one will be fully dependent on computer and computer will decide what to do. Computer will become ultimate source of our information and our brain performance will degrade by time due to lack or usage as all the decisions of our brain are done in the light of its stored memory. A lack of stored memory will result in poor decisions and poor outcomes.
There is a difference between being informed and being experienced. Computer and internet make us informed but not experienced. It’s like if you have never driven a car before, no matter how much research you do on car driving on internet, it will just make your task easier but you cannot actually learn to drive a car unless you do so a plenty of times in actual. Experience cannot be translated into words or documents; it is a state of our brain in which it adopts a work over time. It involved several factors that we cannot document or narrate. So we need to make sure that computer is not taking us away from the experience part as information alone is not enough.

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