we are all becoming cyborgs: Transactive Memory

Posted on November 12, 2012


We are all becoming cyborgs.

Yes even you.  no use denying it,  I’ll explain why.
you see that a cyborg is someone who has their physiological facilities enhanced by technology,  and with the modern smartphone we are doing exactly this.  We are improving our brain and out memory.
This is because the phone,  and the other laptops/tablets we use are becoming central to the way we think, the way we behave,  and in a very profound way the way we remember.
The change to our behavioral changes to memory are well documented, about how we are beginning to become more reliant on our phones/computers to store our memory, everything from our diaries, phone numbers, addresses, alarms/reminders and of course references through the internet from everything from how to spell a word to the meaning of anything.
In many ways we have always used other things to help us remember, and not just books and the like,  but people too.  I know that Bob knows a lot about xyz,  so I don’t need to remember much about xyz,  simply that Bob is the person to ask, similarly with book, etc.  So now we are doing this a lot with out phones / tablets computers,  this is “transactive” memory where we use external facilities to bolster our memory.
So using your phone to store all your contacts, looking things up with google, your life s in your diary, and your friends details and addresses etc are in social networks.
It is this use of your phone to remember for you, to prompt you, to be your knowledge store that makes yo a cyborg,  without it,  you would struggle to be as effective as you are now. Many people feel bereft, at a loss or even quite nervous when they do not have their phone with them.
Is that you,  do you use the phone/tablet as a way to extend your memory, to never forget ?
More importantly: should you worry about it,  are you losing your brain’s abilities through this externalisation of memory in to a transactive mode.
No is the short answer,  we are simply learning and remembering in different ways.
Posted in: life, mobile