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Digital Dementia – It’s a Real Thing & Getting Worse

Flickr: Johnathan Lyman

If you were asked a phone number that you have saved in your smartphone – Would you recall the number and recited it immediately? Would you have to get out your phone and look it up?

Most would answer number two. That’s because of what doctors are now calling “Digital Dementia” and it’s getting worse.

Doctors are seeing a huge rise of “poor memory” in teenagers in South Korea. They have become to reliant on digital technology that they can’t remember everyday things like a phone number.

According to the study, those who rely on technology suffer a deterioration of cognitive abilities. That deterioration resembles that of patients who have a psychiatric illness.

Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, recently said:

Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain. Heavy [technology] users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped.

14% of those adults, ages 18 to 39, reported their memory is poor. The problems rise for those ages 10 to 19  as they spend over seven hours a day on their phone. While their mind is still developing, too much technology will cause problems down the road. As with overuse of technology, the right side of the brain suffers from underdevelopment. The right side is used for concentration, if that side goes undeveloped a person’s memory span is shorter. The bigger problem here is that under underdevelopment can lead to early onset of dementia (15% of the time)


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