Published: Jul 18, 2011 3:38 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 18, 2011 2:38 PM EDT

When you need an answer to a question, chances are you look it up on the internet.

However, a new Columbia University study suggests that the instant results we get from search engines are affecting how we remember just about everything.

From people to places to almost anything, chances are, if you need an answer, it's at your fingertips.

Researchers at Columbia University are calling this the 'Google effect,' where people immediately turn to their computers or smart phones when confronted by something they don't know.

So, is the internet actually dumbing us down?

And we're more likely to remember where to find the information online than the fact itself.

The fear that technology will destroy human intellect isn't new. More than 2,500 years ago, the philosopher Socrates worried writing would weaken memories and produce "forgetfulness in the souls."

Doctors say it's fine to use the internet for help, but nothing will ever replace the best tool at your disposal--your brain.

Researchers say endless information may indeed be making us smarter, but the question is, will we remember it?