Outsourcing Thinking

Opinion | Vienna Review | October 2012

Have you ever caught yourself surfing the Internet for longer than necessary? Or have you found yourself incessantly checking  your email account every few minutes? If so, then you’re in good company. It was this kind of new-age phenomenon that was recently discussed at the International Forum for Economic Communication (IFWK) in Vienna. According to Manfred Spitzer, there has been a "smartphone-ication of our thinking".

In the past, when asked a question, our brain cells used to rummage through our memory to find the answer. But nowadays, we immediately check our smartphones and deprive our brain muscles of their necessary exercise. If we only rely on Google and other search engines to come up with answers, then our brain cells become stunted, and we end up lost dependent on something we once lived very happily without.

We have successfully outsourced our thinking. Our consolation prize: At least we can keep track of our friends on Facebook.

– PS

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