Technology Overuse and Digital Dementia!
Technology has been life-saving for all of us, specifically during the ongoing pandemic, as it enabled the world to keep moving online when we couldn't physically. Technology took care of our schooling, offices, healthcare, basic needs, finances, basically everything. However, every coin has two faces.
We have been dealing with the bane of technology ever since its development. Though it has made our lives easier, technology is one of the biggest factors which has led to our unhealthy lifestyle. However, the major impact that technology is leaving is on the brain and mental, especially in the young ones. Apparently, kids being involved in digital devices such as smartphones, iPad, laptops for most of their time are falling behind in terms of cognitive skill development.
This alarming situation has known as "Digital Dementia," a term coined by a renowned German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer in his book about the same issue. Spitzer described Digital Dementia as a negative result of the overuse of digital technology, which led to the breakdown of cognitive abilities, more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.
We all know that people are largely dependent on technology for basically everything they do see deterioration in their physical and mental health. The overuse of technology hampers cerebral performance in people, leading to problems like short-term memory dysfunction.
An adult today can notice a huge difference in the skills of today's kids and their own skills that they had when they were the same age. For instance, before the advent of technology, or even during the earlier days of technology, people's memory and cognitive skills were strong. It was easier for them to memorize and recall multiple phone numbers and other necessary information without noting it down. The US study has stated the modern lifestyle to be the cause behind this downfall. Today, even a one-year-old can operate a smartphone.
Experts and health professionals stated that overuse of game devices and other such digital devices hinders the balanced development of a child's brain. One might not notice it during the early stages, but the effects do appear slowly, and a child is unable to perform basic activities without needing guidance.
Though the world today is largely dependent on technology, clearly, Digital Dementia is a bigger problem in hand that we need to sort. Obviously, we cannot completely refrain from using technology as it really is a basic need today. Still, we can surely do something to avoid the negative impact and reverse Digital Dementia.
As more and more people are paying hed to the negative impact of overusing technology on their lifestyle and health, they are willing to change their habits for good. Therefore, it is possible to bring a positive change and avoid overusing technology with simple steps and making simple changes in the regular routine. However, we are required to take action now!
Manfred, who coined the term Digital Dementia, also gave an alternative to help cope with the situation. However, he presented an aggressive means to deal with the issue, which is to eradicate the cause from its roots completely. He suggested that all digital technology should be removed from classrooms. However, as we have established, we cannot adopt that today, when the world is running solely because of technology.
There are many other doable suggestions by other experts, which can be proven beneficial against Digital Dementia. Dr. Carolyn Brockington, a neurologist from St. Luke's Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City, suggested that we can do simple things to exercise our brains. The most basic yet important alternative is to retrieve information with your brain humanly instead of depending on Google or other mobile applications.
Another simple way is to develop a habit of reading books, not on a tablet or kindle, but an actual book. Do anything which interests you and distract you away from technical devices. You may either learn a language, which helps your brain work harder. For instance, learn a new language or a new instrument. Here again, try not to rely on technology and online classes, rather join physical classes. Most importantly, get into physical activities, go to the gym or work out at home, but keep up with your physical movement.
Besides, if you have time and means to, you can also try a digital sabbatical, which is to refrain from using technology for a while.
Technology has made everything easy for us, and the brain, just like muscle memory, also fails to work if it is not put to use. Therefore, the threat of issues like Digital Dementia and poor cognitive skills in children immediately need to be dealt with. Everything is in your own hands!