People fail to recall important information because they’ve passed this responsibility to their smartphones

While mobile phones and other devices are increasingly essential in our lives and often the main place we store all our information and manage our daily schedules, researchers have warned that we are increasingly forgetting information because of our phones in our hands.

No doubt that smartphones have augmented our routines, but they have also caused the prevalence of Digital Amnesia in our generation. A recent study from Kaspersky Lab reports exposed the truth of how modern technologies are affecting human memory skills.

With the easy access to information at the touch of our fingertips, we prefer storing information in our cell phones and this is something which makes it harder for us to remember things.

Our smartphone acts like an external hard drive for our memories

70-80% of us store important information like birthdays, anniversaries, numbers, pin codes, passwords and other vital information on smartphones. Most of us rely on our handset when we need to recall out partner or children’s phone numbers.

We are so attached to our smartphones that we no longer imagine our lives without it. Digital amnesia is a result of our brains adapting to an age where our phone, and the internet, is always available.

Dr. Kathryn Mills, a UCL cognitive neuroscience researcher said that our relation with our device can resemble a human relationship because of our reliance and trust we place in them.

The feelings are established in the same way – through experience. Repeated experience with a reliable individual builds a ‘schema’ or association for that individual in our memory, telling us that this person can be depended on. If a digital device is continually reliable then we will build that into our schema of that device.

We highly depend on our devices, however have you ever imagined what will happen if we lose our smartphone somewhere? What if our handset breakdowns? This kind of situation can be a lethal disaster for the people of modern age.

According to the study from Kaspersky Lab reports, among women, 44 % would be “overwhelmed by sadness” if they lost their devices and so lost memories they might never get back. A large number of women and young people would “panic”, since their devices are the only places they store their important data.

Perhaps the very devices that are designed to increase our efficiencies are actually increasing our deficiencies?

It’s time to take a break; certainly, connected devices enrich our lives but they have also given rise to Digital Amnesia. We need to understand the long term consequences of depending on devices. Plus, we also need to find out ways for remembering and protecting the memories we want to keep.

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Kanwal Ayub

Kanwal Ayub is a 23rd March Aries | Technology Blogger | Radio Jockey | Avid Photographer | Terrible Singer =P | Pure Punjabi | Kattar Sunni | & a Traveler.

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