Annoying, isn’t it?
You say to yourself, “I’ll just Google it.”
Then you do. Get the goods. Move on.
Only problem is …
Next time you need the info …
Thanks to Digital Amnesia …
Honestly, this condition called “Digital Amnesia” or “Google Amnesia” … stinks.
Not only do you have a fine brain humming along in your skull … There are also a gazillion good reasons why you should be using it properly.
Yes, properly. Even if you really can just look stuff up online.
Because here’s the VERY good news:
This year is the best year ever to use your memory at the highest possible level.
And this is the year you’re going to make it happen, even if battles with net neutrality are starting to make the Internet we’ve come to love look like an endangered species.
You Can’t Annihilate A Problem You Haven’t Defined
It’s fun to throw around cool terms like “The Google Effect” and “Digital Dependence.”
But until you’ve spent some time defining the monster, you’ll have a hard time setting it on fire. Or at least using your Magnetic torches to herd it out of the village.
That said … what exactly is “Digital Amnesia”?
Back in 2015, the Internet security company Kaspersky Lab put out an interesting report on the matter. You really should read it.
To condense the report for you, Digital Amnesia occurs whenever your mind draws a blank on information you’ve stored on a device you trust.
And as the report suggests, this outcome isn’t always a bad thing. For example, do you really need to remember the thousands of website addresses you’ve bookedmarked (and never visited again)?
But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Also included is information like the phone numbers of family members and friends.
And the reality is that by not remembering them anymore, we’re endangering lives as we weaken our brains.
Without knowing the numbers of your loved ones, what would you do in an emergency if your phone wasn’t working? Ask a good Samaritan if he remembers your spouse’s number?
No way, Jose. That’s your job. And you’ve got all the tools you need to get all kinds of simple number strings done when you use the Major Method.
How To Suck The Life Out Of Half Your Brain
Ever heard of “deskilling”? It basically means that you become less capable over time because you’re no longer using certain skills.
And that can only lead to bad outcomes:
* A destroyed brain
* Crappy employment
* No employment
* … and much, much worse, including linguistic deskilling.
But you’re probably asking:
How exactly does having Google and your devices remember everything for you destroy your brain?
When you develop dependence on technology, the areas of your brain responsible for memory start to decay. Just like the muscles in your body would do if you stopped walking.
The Truth About Deskilling Your Brain
No, deskilling the muscles of your memory won’t necessarily happen to you overnight.
But one day you’ll wake up and …
Bam! You Can Barely Remember A Thing!
And it gets worse.
Because memory has a sibling.
And as long as you have the Internet at your fingertips, you don’t even bother using your concentration to try and access things you might actually have in your memory.
How To Put A Barrier Between Need And Action
Instead of instantly searching for information you already know, pause for a second.
Give your memory a bit of space. Ask and you might just receive.
But when you push it away and go straight to the search engines, you’re deskilling your memory every time.
And that means you’re also damaging your concentration.
The good news is that you can improve focus fast with these tips, but there will be more work to be done.
Starve The Brain To Rebuild The Brain
Yes, I’m talking about destroying digital amnesia by going on an information diet.
But wait! you protest. I don’t want to miss out on –
Miss out on what? More fake news of the impending apocalypse?
Come close, my friend. I’ll show you exactly how to take a powerful, memory-boosting digital detox so you can seriously improve your entire life in the process.
Stop Letting The Internet Push You Around
Here’s a little secret for you:
I have never once “allowed push notifications.”
So far, I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything of any interest. I could be horribly wrong about that, but I recommend you never accept notifications of any kind in your life that you don’t control.
By being in control of when you’re disrupted, you automatically improve your ability to concentrate.
Fight Digital Amnesia Like A Magnetic Jedi
For a real Jedi Mind Trick memory exercise, try setting a notification with a positive message for 12:03 p.m. every day.
Then work on remembering and reminding yourself that the notification comes at that time. It’s tough, but doable. Your mind really can track time and remind itself to remember.
(For more cool Mind Tricks like these, check out my post on brain exercises.)
Put Your Devices In The Dog House
Virginia Woolf famously wrote that writers need their own rooms to create in without disruption.
Well, all humans need their own place to sleep without their machines. Problem is, so many people use their devices as alarm clocks. This sad fact means that they’re checking their notifications and messages before even stepping out of bed.
That’s no way to build a better brain.
Instead, put your laptops and smartphones out in a hallway closet, kitchen or completely other room.
If you need something to wake you up, use an old fashioned analog clock or one of those fancy lamps that slowly turns on over time. That gives you the effect of waking up with the sun and gives you a great dose of light that will contribute great things to your health.
Use Airplane Mode Without Fear
It’s no secret that I write almost every episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast on my iPhone.
But people ask me all the time, How on earth do you do it?
There’s actually a long answer coming out in a new training I’m putting out, but the fast and dirty response is: Airplane mode.
I concentrate like there’s no tomorrow when writing because Airplane Mode prevents anything and everything from contacting my iPhone. And since all Push Notifications have been disabled, it’s just me, my words and the music.
Same things go for when I’m using The Big Five Of Language Learning in combination with my Pimsleur Memory Technique:
There’s nothing to interrupt me as I exercise my memory. And that means that my concentration muscles grow at the same time.
Remember this simple equation:
Exercising Your Memory =
Improving Your Concentration
However, don’t make the mistake in thinking that it works the other way around. Concentration is a tool that helps you remember more based on paying better attention. But it’s not a sure-fire guarantee.
That’s why it pays to learn how to use the best possible memorization technique. (You are subscribed to this blog and have taken my free video course, right? If not, just scroll up and tell me where to send it.)
Cut The Umbilical Cord At Least Once A Week
Don’t worry, it’ll grow back.
The ultimate way to help your brain is simple:
Take entire blocks of time away from the digital onslaughts to which we subject ourselves.
When you start, start small.
Vow to not check your device and stay off all computers for an hour.
Just one hour.
You bet it is.
Then see if you can’t extend it to an entire 24 hours.
And listen, you’re not getting this advice from a wanker who doesn’t walk his talk.
Hard as it sometimes, week after week, I perform at least one digital fast.
What To Do During Your Digital Fast
Personally, I like to have options.
But if I were to boil things down to one portrait, here’s one of my fave “digital detox walkabouts.”
First, I pop a blank page notebook into my backpack along with a bunch of colored pens.
Then I pack in my Chinese character book and a deck of playing cards.
Next comes a bottle of water, usually my Soul Bottle.
Maybe something to read, like a print newsletter.
All that done, I head out the door.
No podcasts, no music, no communications technology.
And when you do this, it’ll be great because it’ll be …
Nothing But You And Your Memory!
If you’re still with me, let’s play do-as-I-do.
Picture yourself walking from your home to your favorite park or cafe.
Depending on the weather, you go outside some place where you can soak in the sun.
Heck, you might even do some of these exercises just standing on the side of the street:
Or, if you’re doing a coffee and memory experiment or it’s unpleasant outside, you head for your favorite cafe.
While walking, you think about all the buildings you’re passing. You enter the odd shop you’ve never been in and consume it into your memory for use as a Memory Palace.
You notice a street you’ve never walked down before and take it.
Then, when you’ve reached your destination, you get out your supplies.
Since you’re the author of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, you’ll start with a …
MMBD (Mind Map Brain Dump)
Or you’ll use your blank notebook to do something else memory-related you’re not telling anyone about … yet. 😉
Next, you’ll pull out some cards, shuffle and memorize them. You’ll set the cards aside, let a few minutes pass and write out all the cards you remember on a piece of paper.
Optional method: Carry two decks. Once you’ve memorized the randomized cards in the first deck, you can reconstruct the order using the second deck. Then you can flip each of the cards over one by one, comparing them.
The reason I don’t use this method personally is because I feel that the writing process helps strengthen recall in many ways. I’ll be looking into the claims that “the hand builds the mind” in a more scientific way throughout 2017.
In the meantime, just test different options for yourself as you fend off digital amnesia.
Memorize Something Related To Your
Computer-Free Memory Project
Finally, I crack open my Chinese Character book and draw a Memory Palace. Following the Magnetic Memory Method, I correspond everything with The Principle of Alphabetization and get busy.
All of this is done without computers of any kind, including the walk home.
And the last thing you do before you switch the computers back on is test what you’ve memorized at the cafe. Either just the cards or Chinese or both (both is best).
And for bonus points, you never do turn the machines back on. You just hop into bed with a good book and your honey-bunny for some oxytocin-inducing love memories. (Yes, sex helps your memory too while you’re healing from digital amnesia!)
Recognize The Privilege Of Having
Memory Abilities You Can Improve
Okay, I’ll admit it. This is a mindset thing.
But the reason I focus on mindset so much is the same reason it applies to dealing with digital amnesia. You’ve got to understand this one thing:
Not everyone is so lucky to have memory.
Heck, some people are born without ever having had the ability to use their memory at all.
But Not You!
If you’re reading this post or listening to the podcast version, you can completely skip the rise and impact of digital amnesia on brains around the world.
Because you have the opportunity to save your brain.
And you have clues and tools for exercising your memory and concentration.
The only thing you have to worry about next is what you’re going to do with all your super powers.
With Great Memory Power Comes
Great Memory Responsibility
Yes, it’s time to dust off that old comic book line once again. (In case you don’t recognize the heading above, I’m trying to tap into your episodic memory of Spider-Man and a few other levels to remind you that you’re a superhero.)
But don’t worry. I’m not talking about responsibility for the entire world.
It’s the responsibility to keep using your mind and memory.
Your head isn’t just for hanging hair on. It yearns for brain exercise.
And your head demands that you take action.
Trust me. If you don’t use it, digital amnesia will take over. You will lose your memory and the overall health of your mind.
So step up to the plate and stop Google from ruining your memory.
You’re the only one who can.