Before the internet days, if someone was asked about something and the person didn't know, he/she had a couple of options to find out the answer. From pulling out an encyclopaedia to heading down to a library, people had to make an extra effort to get the answer. Nowadays, it's simple, we just need to unlock our smartphones and go to Google to search for it.
We don't even have an idea how dependent we have become on the search engines; we do not even give our brain the time to think and recollect anything.
Recently, a leading dementia researcher said that using search engines like Google instead of searching our brains could put us at risk of dementia, Mirror.co.uk reported.
Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, director of research for the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews, said: "It's important to promote good brain health and to do that is to use it, but these days we seem to outsource our brain to the internet."
He added: "If we want to know something, we look it up online rather than trying to recall the information from our memory."
He's not the first one. Previously, in a 2016 study, academics at the universities of California and Illinois had found that our dependence on the internet is changing the way we think and remember.
In the study, two groups of people were asked to a set of simple questions. One group were told to use only their memories, while the other group had to look up the answers online.
Participants of both the groups were then given the option of answering the easy questions by the method of their choice.
It was found that those who had used the internet for the first time were much more likely to do so again. They were not only more likely to refer to the internet but also quicker to do so, making very little attempt to think of the answers themselves, even when the questions were very easy.
Benjamin Storm, the study's lead author said: "Whereas, before we might have tried to recall something on our own, now we don't bother. As more information becomes available via smartphones and other devices, we become progressively more reliant on it in our daily lives."
Prof Gunn-Moore will deliver the main lecture about it at the annual Alzheimer Scotland Christmas event in Edinburgh this month.