Technology overuse putting people at risk of 'digital dementia'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 March 2019, 7:13AM
The term describes how the overuse of technology can significantly affect our attention, memory and emotional development. Photo / Getty Images

So-called "digital dementia" could be harming our brains more than we realise.

The term describes how the overuse of technology can significantly affect our attention, memory and emotional development.

Researchers have raised particular concern for children growing up in a tech-saturated world.

But Auckland clinician and counsellor Dr Allison Lamont told Mike Hosking the brain can become overwhelmed.

"Children are growing up in a digital world and, of course, they need skills to use technology but it needs to be balanced with interacting with the real world and real people."

"With older people and people in the workforce, there is just this flood of digital information coming at them really, really quickly and they are expected to remember it all and it just overwhelms the brain. It can't process the material quickly enough for it to be stored away safely in long term memory."

Lamont said there are ways to keep your memory sharper for longer.

"Memorising something is an active process, it goes through stages before the information is locked away, very securely into the brain and it needs time to be able to do that."

She said digital technology puts us at risk of losing our memory.

"Memory is definitely a use it or lose it situation."

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