06 Nov “Outsource memory, culture withers”
I’ve just finished reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr. I thought it was a fascinating read, looking at the Internet in both a cultural and biological context. A must-read for anyone who spends a great deal of time online.
One of the most interesting chapters of the book looks at how surfing the web affects our memory, and the way our brains store memories.
“The influx of competing messages that we receive whenever we go online not only overloads our working memory; it makes it much harder for our frontal lobes to concentrate our attention on any one thing… And, thanks once again, to the plasticity of our neuronal pathways, the more we use the Web, the more we train our brain to be distracted—to process information very quickly and very efficiently but without sustained attention. That helps explain why many of us find it hard to concentrate even when we’re away from our computers. Our brains become adept at forgetting, inept at remembering.”
A very interesting, thought-provoking read. I recommend you pick it up.