The great dependence on the Internet, the search engines make the professionals lazy?

A couple talks and uses a digital tablet. [Getty Images]

Working halfway through some of the most intimidating procedures, Nyawira, a nurse at a health facility in Nyeri County, looks to Google for instructions.

A quick search reminds him what to do. Naturally, Nyawira is not sure that she could perform as well as she does without the internet.

His case is not isolated. Google, the ubiquitous, omniscient intellectual search engine or app saves a lot of the blushes of professionals, supplementing their memory and offering answers whenever called upon.

The same goes for other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu.

Help is welcome. It is undoubtedly a good thing for humanity to have a source of information to fall back on.

Sometimes, with the freedom of people to dump all the information they want on the internet, a rude professional will land on it and use the wrong information.

But often Google is a useful companion. The flip side of Google’s offer is the effect it has on mental activity. Is Google Making People Lazy?

Research conducted in 2015 by the University of Waterloo showed that the internet doesn’t just make people lazy; this hinders their ability to engage their mental faculties optimally.

General culture questions

Professor Evan F. Risko, Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, led a study in which the team asked about 100 participants a series of general knowledge questions, such as naming the capital of France .

“Participants indicated whether they knew the answer or not. For half of the study, participants had access to the Internet. They had to research the answer in case they answered that they did not know the answer. In the other half of the study, participants did not have Internet access, ”the University of Waterloo report reads.

The team found that people who had access to the web were about five percent more likely to say they didn’t know the answer to the question.

“In some contexts, people with access to the Internet reported feeling they knew less than people without access,” the university noted.

“With the pervasiveness of the Internet, we are almost constantly connected to a wealth of information. And when this data is at hand, people seem less inclined to trust their knowledge, ”said Professor Risko.

The purpose of technology is to make work easier. It is also intended to reduce the load on the human brain, as well as to help achieve more accurate results.

However, the drawbacks come with it, with more and more professionals abandoning their independent thinking to fall back on the Internet.

DataReportal’s Digital 2021: Kenya report showed that there were approximately 21.75 million internet users in the country as of January 2021.

Kenya, with an estimated population of 54.38 million people of which 28.2 percent in urban centers and 71.8 percent in rural areas.

Less connected

Penetration is still considered low, with Africa remaining one of the least connected regions in the world.

In 2020, research firm Statista showed that Google’s global revenue was $ 181.69 billion (20 trillion shillings) – a jump from $ 160.74 billion in 2019. (17,000 billion shillings).

As might be expected, revenues increased significantly, from just $ 0.4 billion (40.3 billion shillings) in revenue for Google in 2002.

Daniel Mbugua, public relations and communications specialist, sees Google as a librarian managing the catalog. “I consult it to direct me to the most recent and relevant documents to read,” he says. “Imagine doing literature reviews without Google.”

Doesn’t he think he could engage his mind more if he had to browse books in libraries in pursuit of his favorite subjects, and in the process expand his memory?

“Can you really count on our libraries? ” he asks. “What our generation does is copy and paste what they find on the Internet instead of reading, analyzing, criticizing and drawing personal conclusions.”

Mbugua says he doesn’t necessarily turn to Google for information on what interests him.

“I am a football fanatic and I will not use Google over and over again to tell me when Chelsea was founded. I already know a lot about Chelsea because it is a subject that interests me,” says- he, admitting that he may need to do a quick research to see how old a musician is because the lack of interest in the topic means he doesn’t keep this information in his brain.

Winfred Njoki, a veterinarian, admits that some of the things she searches for on Google are things she could easily remember, but is not guaranteed a quick reference.

“If Google and the other search engines weren’t there, I would think more and forget some things, but after looking for something I forgot I don’t forget a second time,” he says. her for her defense.

Pauline Mureithi, a media intern admits that Google has made her more lazy. “I can’t use my brain,” she says.

“For everything, I turn to Google. I can write a good essay, but now I’m asking google to help me and give me some ideas.

Data analyst

Paul Thenya, geospatial data analyst in Nairobi, says he never takes the time to remember the small work processes Google can help.

“It’s almost like an automatic correction. Just keep a vague idea of ​​what the destination looks like and Google will point you in the right direction, ”he says.

Samuel Waithanji, a tutor, says he only uses the internet when he doesn’t have a book at his disposal.

But Joyce Wanjiru, a graduate teacher, says the damage that can be associated with the arrival of Google is the same that can be attributed to the calculator.

Cleared for use in mathematics as early as secondary school in Kenya, the calculator is infamous for making intellectuals dependent on even the smallest problems, such as single digit addition.

A joke on social media says that elementary school students who have been weaned to count on corn, beans and sticks and who have moved on to rally addition and do better than graduates when it comes to mental arithmetic.

Having developed a reliance on the calculator, advanced students show little confidence in their abilities to add, subtract, multiply or divide numbers independently.

Many professionals know that there are most likely multiple results on any topic they need on Google.

This decreases the need to understand or memorize crucial information. In the event that the internet fails, they are left behind; Impossible to deliver.

Can we live without the internet? Does this make us more lazy?

This should probably be one of the hottest debates of our time.

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Rosemary S. Bishop