There are undeniable advantages to carrying a whole library on your Kindle or tablet computer but retaining the information you read doesn’t seem to be one of them. Recent studies agree that when it comes to recalling information, you’re probably ahead to read printed material like bound books, paper journals, and print magazines. In one study that asked Italian college students to read a 28-page story and then place 14 plot events in correct order, Kindle readers performed significantly worse.
Researchers suggest that we have a more difficult time recalling digital information because it has no permanent physical location:
“Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared. … ‘We might recall that we passed the red farmhouse near the start of the trail before we started climbing uphill through the forest; in a similar way, we remember that we read about Mr. Darcy rebuffing Elizabeth Bennett on the bottom of the left-hand page in one of the earlier chapters.'”
On the other hand, our digital devices never forget. Information that never dies, forever accessible by practically everyone on the planet, poses some interesting problems for a society:
The music we listen to strongly informs our emotions and choosing the right tunes can easily alter how we interact with our surroundings: a romantic song for date night versus a get-up-and-go song for the morning commute.