A latest report published in Science magazine revealed that the use of internet search engines made people rely on their computers as a type of "external memory." The study conducted by Harvard University students tested the responders' ability to remember facts.
In one trial, university students were asked to type notes on pieces of trivia -- for instance, "an ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain" -- and told their notes would be saved in one of many different folders or erased.
The study found that people who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember. Those who were told their notes would be erased most accurately remembered the trivia.
"We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems," the authors wrote in the paper. "We have become dependent on them to the same degree we are on all the knowledge we gain from our friends and coworkers -- and lose if they are out of touch."
Interestingly, another study conducted at Columbia University in New York (reported by Bloomberg) also found that people remembered where they stored information than the ability to recall the information itself.