June 07, 2007

Skip the search, figure it out on your own

Yesterday I had the name of a band on the tip of my tongue, but couldn't remember it. It drove me crazy. Eventually, I had to go Google it. 70's rock, sounds like so and so. Nope, couldn't find it. Then I went to Amazon and rode their recommendation engine for about ten minutes and then BANG I found the name...Bad Company.

Whew. Thought that would kill me.

Every time we cannot remember something in the 21st Century, we rely on a search engine or web database to cough it up for us. Twenty years ago we might call a friend or two, but most of the time we finally came up with it out of our own head.

I think those times were better for us. If our brains can rely on technology to produce stored memories, then they will eventually adapt to remember less and less over time. In the future, we will be idiots without a broadband connection.

The next time you are stuck for a name or a band, resist the tempation to logon and solve it immediately and make your brain do a little hard work. You've taught yourself to walk over and talk to a coworker instead of emailing them from twenty feet, consider this an addition to your post-tech boom workout routines.

Otherwise, you are just asking for that memory loss ailment, I can't remember the name of it right now...it's on the tip of my tongue.

Posted at 7:56 AM in health and wellness  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)



Personally, I think our brains are on information overload with so much available to us today that it actually takes us longer to remember what we think we should be able to remember easily.

Whew, I would just as soon forget that statement, and I'm sure I will. :)


Tim have you seen this on Bob Sutton's blog:

a study about forgetting stuff!!!


einstein says to never remember anything if you know where to look it up. It will free your head for more intersting things. The brain is VERY good at certain things, and VERY bad at others. It's a matter of using tools to help with our weaknesses.



Great post. I know what you're talking about here as I find it scary how little I can recall. The more I rely on my PDA/web apps, the more I can do but the less I can remember.



What an excellent post and discussion. Thanks for the idea Ann- I cannot wait to show another angle from a brain based perspective!

Am in Ireland leading a conference on brain based learning and leading with medical professionals here. Let me post on this one more in the next few days Ok?

Wow -- this one will surprise you -- and you'll be amazed at where it can take us:-). Hold your interest though, Ok:-)


Of course you say that after you found the name of the band :-)

Just kidding, it's an interesting idea - do we really remember less or do we (as Kent suggests) remember other things instead???

Where's Ellen Weber when you need her!


On the other hand...

...perhaps allowing technology to remember the name of that long gone band frees my personal memory banks up to facilitate remembering key personal things like my wedding anniversary, or where I left my car keys.


This is an excellent post Tim! I completely agree with you and I find that it's not only memories I rely on computers for... It's spelling, grammar, creativity, etc. I find that a lot of the things I used to enjoy doing offline have now moved to the online realm.

Pretty scary to think about what future generations will be like. As computers begin to do more and more for us, I wonder if we'll see a decline in the level of language and grammar skills, etc. in kids graduating from schools.

Erin Blaskie
Business Services, ETC


great point! love technology, but I sometimes wonder what we're trading for its convenience.

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