Digital Dementia

More and more young people who’ve been raised in this digital age are showing signs of short term memory dysfunction as a result of their addiction to technology. They’re spending upwards of 7 hours a day attached to their iPads, smartphones, computers and gaming consoles. And the effects to their brains are proving to be very damaging. “Digital Dementia”, a term coined by top German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer in his 2012 book of the same name, is a term used to describe how overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

 

Individuals who rely heavily on technology may suffer deterioration in cerebral performance such as short term memory dysfunction. While many of us grew up remembering phone numbers and other key information simply by memorizing it, most kids today have grown up not needing to remember things like phone numbers because we have devices that do it for us.

 1. Use Your Head. Retrieve information from your brain organically – rather than automatically turning to Google to look up that actress you can’t remember immediately. Sit there and concentrate until you can recall it.

2. Crack Open a Book. That’s right. Reading an actual book rather than a tablet has been shown to improve memory retention.

3. Learn a new language. Putting you outside your comfort zone helps your brain work harder, which makes you smarter.

4. Play a new instrument. Instruments require the use of both side of the brain – like the piano or the guitar, for example, which help strengthen and balance it.

5. Get physical. Physical exercise increases blood flow and accelerates the transport of vital nutrients to your brain.

 Essentially, we need to be doing anything that can lead to the healthy restructuring or ‘rewiring’ of our brains. We need to be spending less time relying on technology and more time relying on our brain power.