Is Over Dependence on Technology Diminishing Cognitive Abilities?

Have you ever thought about waking up to a world with no phones, no internet, and no cash from the ATM or vehicles to travel? It indeed would be difficult to exist in such a world.

Today technology has become a part of our life. We depend on technology at every waking moment. Even when we are asleep, various technologies keep working for us.

Our dependence on technology keeps growing. However, it has been reported that spending more than 7 hours a day attached to tablets, smartphones, computers, and other such “robots” affects the brain.

MJK62574 Marc Reichwein und Manfred Spitzer (Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018)-A.jpg

“Digital Dementia” is a term coined by German Neuroscientist, Manfred Spitzer. Digital Dementia describes the overuse of digital technology and its effect in breaking down cognitive abilities, which is seen more commonly in people who have suffered psychiatric illness or brain injury. It can dull the ability to concentrate, shorten attention, memory span and cause emotional imbalance like depression.

Image: Manfred Spitzer (CC BY-SA 3.0 )

But there are lots of technologies that can improve our cognitive skills. One can harness them for improving the efficiency of work, expand reach, network and save time.

Now when it is about harnessing the good part of technology, here comes the search engines which have made the process of finding answers easier. Years back we had to go to the library and spend much of our time searching for books to get the answer to a particular question.

However, it will be useful to take help from the technologies and go to the library to use the printed books.

And when we need to go to an unknown location or that exam center, we never knew it exists, turn on the location in our gadgets and take help of GPS, exploring the maps flashed on the screen and straight to our destination. Well, don’t you think rather doing this, we should have explored the routes, the shops around, ask people about our destination? Rather than telling people how the place is, we write a review describing the place. There are already a good number of young people who have no idea to navigate on their own through the city streets without using GPS.

Originally GPS (Global Positioning System) is a technology military used for secret covert operations. Commercial planes, recreational sports that require location, and other positioning applications take advantage of GPS.

Good to find that long-lost friend on Facebook and took the opportunity to discuss the memorable days. Yes, social media which had made communication so easy today! And thanks to the email services, now we don’t need to keep those pigeons.

Social media as we know is very useful but the addiction to the medium is hampering the life of many, especially youngsters.

Even the word Social got evolved. From going out, meeting people, talking to them, mingle or party with others, the word social now usually implies being active on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes. We have more friends on our friend list than in our real lives. Nowadays people spend most of their time chatting on Social media, sharing emotions and expressions to the virtual world.

Just to mention a few, the use of these certain technologies has become vital today. The debate on how technology plays a role positively or negatively is never-ending. So, the balance one needs to aim at is the use of technology in a better way that has some positive effect on society and thereby helping in the evolvement of mankind. It is just like sustainable development! It is to meet human development goals at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems. Thus we all have to find a balance to integrate technology into our lives.

Written by Moumita Mazumdar

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