Research by Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow suggests that the internet is having a potentially significant effect on our memory.
Ryan Bethea summarizes it well:
. . . the main takeaway appears to be that we are adapting to remember where information is located, rather than the actual information itself. This seems logical given that there is an infinite amount of information out there, and our minds are becoming adroit at “indexing”.
So much of modern knowledge work isn’t about what you know. It’s about finding what you don’t know. And finding it quickly.
All you office geeks can sympathize. How many times have you solved someone’s computer problem via Google while they stood in your doorway?