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Do It

Use your brain instead of Googling everything.


The ease of information gathering has made it far less important for me to apply my critical thinking abilities. I can’t speak about your experiences, but if I had to guess, I’d assume that they aren’t too far from my own. I can recall conversations in which I and my conversation partners will be discussing some topic that leads us to arrive at some unknown. It could be a factual unknown like a date of some historic event or an opinion based unknown like the best restaurant in the area. Without missing a beat, someone will announce “let me Google it,” as they produce an iPhone with trained and focused thumbs getting to work asking the oracle of the world.

Stop that. Use your brain once in a while.

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  • THE infogatherer

    This si true: I asked a few times some teens about some History references and they were so lost. Googling is all right, but what happens when you do not use it? My 2 cents? Technology is like sex and money: good servant but bad master! ;)

  • T yue

    I suppose using my brain also means solving the problem myselves. Does not mean not to rely on any reference. I love gping to library to look for things. Some how i prefer the more 'complicated' way as if i did make effort

  • Oracle3

    Connecting with earth and nature creates a balance in life.

    • Mr.Zaher Elfeky

      That`s true..
      And I add..We always need to look,hear,notice the nature and the universe around us,and meditate and think in the creation..Why God created the universe and how great is the God...

  • Poch Peralta

    We can't just do everything online. It will clog our brains. We have to go and think outside and refresh our minds. Most useful ideas come when step away from our online gadgets. Just a 15-minute walk can do that!

  • patricking

    I don't agree at all. I think technology and Google in particular make for accuracy. In olden times anyone could say anything with authority and have their incorrect stats quoted based on their personalities.

    No one can get away with this any more and that is a great thing. It is also a great thing to be able to check your facts before you state them. You no longer have to rely on a book you read in 1977.

    Far from making people less intelligent this ability makes them much MORE intelligent. If you have to look something up 3 or 4 times, chances are you'll remember it the 5th time.

  • eaajdjmd

    I so agree--in my home we are so technology immersed that almost everyone is disconnected.......I worry for myself--I have been caring for my autistic son (doing great these days!) and three years ago we adopted twin infants--I was FORCED to disconnect from the virtual world and re-connect with that which is real........I am now re-connecting as three year olds require a different type of concentration.......hopefully I won't go the way of the rest of my household! A Crawl.....A most interesting point about the ability to read these days........we watch "Wicked Tuna" (one of my sons is really into fishing and has discovered that show) and I brought up The Old Man and the Sea........His comment was "There's a book about this? Why would anyone read it?" I fear for our future.......

  • shadow

    Mid-article I googled "Luddite", returned to the article, and felt shame upon realization.

    Excellent article and insight- thank you for posting

  • Jaap Nauta

    The invention of book-printing caused about the same reaction. That was about 1000 years ago. I googled that fact off course.

  • Scarlett Fu

    There was an Atlantic article which we received whilst studying on a Masters degree (we received it on paper, only the source is from the Internet!), aptly titled 'Is Google Making Us Stupid?' by Nicholas Carr. Since reading that article, it's been a conscious effort to avoid using search engines unless it is absolutely necessary, and the level of concentration has noticeably increased.
    If anyone is interested in the article, the link is here, I shan't ask you to Google it!

    • Shamoon

      Thanks! I'll definitely read it. Great find.

  • Tom Maybrier

    It's also worth pointing out that since humans seem largely incapable of using a ranged scoring system correctly that the "best" stuff according to the internet isn't really a reliable metric.

    As proof of this, I submit the racket that is Yelp's business practices (Do google that!) and everyone who's ever rated an amazon product 1 star because of their experience with a particular seller.

  • A Crawl II

    I agree. I noticed a few months ago how the ease of access and the "snap" changes in social networking had been draining the life out of my attention span. I noticed that I could only read about 2 to 3 pages of a book before I had to use a concentrated effort to continue on reading. So,I dialed way back... on task lists, google and trivial social interactions. Now I'm up to about 30 pages of easy reading per sitting. I'd say yes... let your brain do what it's built to do.

    • Ben Goldhirsh

      totally been feeling the same thing. Have you read Dave Egger's new book, The Circle?


        Great book, chilling. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Using the Internet as my factoid database, I began forgetting people's names, after having just been introduced. I push myself to live a more 3D life, with people I can see, touch, and share moments --even if it's a smile and brief banter with a stranger, standing behind me in line at the Post Office. Living life, with purposeful breaks from technology is not a hobby.

        • Ben Goldhirsh

          That last sentence is one I'll keep with me.

    • Shamoon

      Awesome progress. I've noticed a marked change in myself after being ultra immersed in "technology" and removing myself from it.

  • Shamoon