I want so much to believe people like Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better. Thompson says despite people voicing alarm over the fact that they feel dumber since they started using their "smart"phone, not to worry. He says the use of technology is making us smarter rather than the other way around.
He talks of the "tip-of-the-tongue" syndrome which is what happens to me a lot. I can almost--but not quite--recollect a fact that seems just out of reach somewhere in my brain. It appears to be on the tip of my tongue (more like the tip of my brain) but I just can't quite engage it. In the past, Thompson says, we relied on friends and family to help us remember those tip of the tongue facts. So, he says, memory is social.
Now, though, we can just Google something to find the answer to the tip of the tongue problem. Thompson says that is great. Now we can use machines instead of depending on friends and other people.
So how, I ask, does that make us more social? Somehow it seems to me it makes us less social. If I can just Google that wispy fact that is hidden just out of reach, instead of calling my Aunt Mable who always knew the answer to certain kinds of questions, then won't I be more likely to stop calling Aunt Mable and depend on my iPad in my home? Rather than a conversation starter, this use of tech seems to me to be a conversation inhibitor. Where's the social in this tip of the tongue syndrome?
Maybe instead of talking with you about it, I should just, well, what else?...look it up.