Some of us can still remember the days of memorizing phone numbers, the dates of birthdays, addresses, etc. But now that most people have smartphones they also have a phone book literally at their fingertips. There is no longer a need to remember a lot of different information anymore and a new study suggests this type of smartphone dependence has led to something called “digital dementia.”
Telegraph reports about a South Korean study that suggests due to overuse of internet and smartphones our brains are actually developing in an unbalanced way. South Korea boasts the highest population of smartphone users, with 64% of their population toting them around.
Many people who have smartphones, especially teens, tend to fiddle with their phones for hours each day. Doctors report that more than 18% of smartphone users ages 10 – 19 use their phones upwards of 7 hours per day. Users like this appear to be most at risk of developing a deterioration in cognitive abilities much like people who suffered head trauma.
Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, explains what overdoing it with smartphones can do to a person’s brain. Gi-Won says, “Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain. Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped.”
This is concerning especially because the right is the side of the brain that develops concentration skills, attention and memory span. Underdevelopment or the failure to develop the right side of brain is thought to bring on early onset of dementia in as many as 15% of cases.
What do you think of the new study that suggests overuse of smartphones can lead to “digital dementia”?
Have you lost your ability to remember phone numbers, birthday, addresses, etc. after relying on your smartphone to store this info?