“Digital Amnesia” and how smartphones affect our memories » TwistedSifter


Well it’s not sounds greatnow is that…?

“Digital amnesia” because of our smartphones seems to be a reality these days and it seems like things have only gotten worse in this regard since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 because so many people were isolated, stressed and exhausted, and they turned to their phones for an escape to social media and other things our devices offer.

In fact, 80% of people surveyed in 2021 by the Memory Researcher Catherine Loveday said their memories were worse than at the start of the pandemic.

Photo credit: Unsplash, Thom Holmes

Researchers are divided on what the digital amnesia people seem to be experiencing will ultimately lead to when it comes to our memories.

chris bird is a professor of cognitive neuroscience and he thinks that using external devices to keep track of things makes our lives easier.

Bird said,

“I take a picture of my parking ticket to know when it’s used up, because it’s an arbitrary thing to remember. Our brains didn’t evolve to remember very specific, unique things. Before we had devices , you had to try very hard to remember how long you needed to be back at your car.”

But another professor named Olivier Hardt thinks our memories will only get worse if we stop using it the way we’re supposed to. Hardt says, “We use them for everything. If you go to a website for a recipe, you press a button and it sends the ingredient list to your smartphone. It’s very convenient, but convenience comes at a price. It’s good for you to do certain things in your head.

And Hardt thinks it will get worse and eventually lead to more people with dementia.

He says,

“We can predict that prolonged use of GPS is likely to reduce gray matter density in the hippocampus. Reduced gray matter density in this area of ​​the brain is accompanied by a variety of symptoms, such as a increased risk of depression and other psychopathologies, but also of certain forms of dementia.

Screenshot 2022 09 04 at 4:24.40 p.m.

Photo credit: unsplash bruce march

Dr. Wendy Suzuki even goes so far as to say that we have so many of our faces in our phones that we miss so much of our lives.

She says,

“If we can’t remember what we’ve done, information we’ve learned, and events in our lives, it changes us… [The part of the brain which remembers] really defines our personal stories. It defines who we are.

And an ongoing study which follows more than 10,000 American children into adulthood claims that smartphones can even alter our brains.

Searcher Larry Rosen said,

“It started by examining 10-year-old children with paper and pencil measurements and an MRI, and one of their most interesting early findings was that there was a relationship between the use of technology and cortical thinning. Young children who use more technology had finer cortexes, which is thought to happen at older ages.

Of course, there’s more research to be done in this area, but that’s a pretty scary thought…

Maybe it’s time to spend a little less time on our phones and a little more time enjoying our surroundings, don’t you think?

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