Today, we turn to the internet for everything, with Wikipedia being our web-based wisdom, and Google providing the search capabilities that often surpasses our failing memory. In fact, recent research has shown what is known as the “Google Effect”; namely, we are better at knowing WHERE to finding information, as opposed to being able to recall the actual information. In fact, we might readily forget information that we know we can access on the web. This raises many important questions, one of which is to what degree can we rely on web-based wisdom, perhaps at the expense of our own “human” knowledge and memory?
Are we turning to the internet, without making social contact with family that can provide more informative and valuable insight? What we might forget is that often valuable insight is best gotten from our elders: our grandparents, our parents or other people who have lived and developed unique knowledge-bases, and ones that are more easily accessible than any Smartphone. Information sharing is essential. For example, imaging you are need to know “ How do I remove something that might be a wasp nest?”. You could check the internet, or your could ask someone who might have done it before – often an older adult has relevant life-experience or insight, and is more than happy to share it. In addition, turning to our elders also allows for rich family history that may not be documented elsewhere, and can lead to bonding—bonding beyond being tied to your iPhone. Getting to know an older relative can be an enriching experience, and provides escape from certain negative stereotypes regarding aging: as Brad Pitt said: “With age comes wisdom…"