This is all really interesting — prompting many thoughts.
I’ll admit, it’s unnatural how conditioned I am to pull out my phone and google things. Sometimes for a split second I find myself about to type something of a ridiculous nature like “Movie Larry recommended to me yesterday.”
I think of the book “Moonwalking with Einstein,” which discusses how the way we use our memories has changed. In the past it was necessary to memorize large amounts of information if you were lucky enough to get your hands on a book. Every bit was really valuable. Now there’s massive amounts of information readily available, so our brains meld with the internet in a sense — we don’t necessarily need to memorize it, but we’re also dependent on it. On-the-spot access to this information can make us feel like we have more knowledge than we actually do.
We also can’t rely on it for answering questions like “What’s the meaning of life? ”I’ve tried to make a point of asking questions to older and wiser people, because I think there’s something special about making those connections. Observing the views of people who have lived admirable, long lives, and seeing the way they’ve synthesized all that information and experience — that can provide a type of guidance. And in terms of learning skills, a youtube tutorial could have quickly taught me the concept of how to put up a fence. Instead I learned by watching and helping my grandpa, providing connection and a tangible memory, an experience, which is much more valuable than a quick intake of info.