How long could you really stay without the use of your smartphone, computer, or the internet? 60 seconds, 30 minutes, 2 hours, maybe less or maybe more. Without much ado, technology has no doubt made great contributions to our work and daily life. Solving many problems, making our tasks easier, improving our work methods, and even saving lives. However, technology as useful as it might be has its very own cons with which digital dementia is inclusive.
Dementia is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a syndrome in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological aging. This condition is chronic and affects many elderly people. This disease condition causes impaired ability to identify objects, comprehend or use language, and impaired ability to do previously learned motor activities.
What is digital dementia?
“Digital dementia” is a term coined by a top German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer in his book named digital dementia in 2012. This term describes how the overuse of digital technology has resulted in the breakdown of the cognitive abilities of young people in a way that is more commonly seen in old people.
In recent times more and more people have totally become dependent on their devices to do almost everything and anything that needs to be done. Over-reliance on technology has given rise to the medical term digital dementia.
In this condition, the back of the brain is usually bombarded with visual signals from digital devices while the front of the brain meant for motivation, goal setting, movement, reading, and writing is left completely stimulated causing cognitive dissociation and poor posture.
Signs and symptoms of digital dementia
● Learning disorders
● Lack of confidence
● Social seclusion
● High level of stress and depression
● Uncoordinated movement pattern
● Delay in development
● Slouched posture
● Lack of motivation
5 tips to overcoming digital dementia
1. Decrease screen time and replace it with healthier activities: A limit should be placed on the amount of time spent on the screen each day. Application timers are useful tools to ensure time management. Be rigid and disciplined in keeping to schedule. Find time for self-care and mindfulness practices each day.
2. Communicate effectively: Less screen time and more physical interactions reduce your risk of acquiring digital dementia. Discuss, brainstorm or confide in people around you rather than scroll through the media all day.
3. Engage your brain more rather than depending on your smartphone or computer: allow the brain to perform activities it was created just for. Let it organize your daily activities, make decisions and motivate you. Reading hard copies of books, writing with a pen and paper, playing board games, are activities that stimulate your brain.
4. Make use of assistive technology: The use of protective cushions while using digital devices helps you maintain proper posture. Be sure to also maintain eye level with your devices.
5. Take breaks and exercise regularly: It is always recommended that you take intervals at work if your job demands you use technology during working hours. Sitting and standing help you feed your brain with stimulations, therefore reducing your risk of developing digital dementia. Be sure to make out time for regular exercise each week. Several brain-based postural exercises exist to keep you on the safe side.
Cure for digital dementia
Digital dementia is never a permanent condition if appropriate caution is taken and habits are moderated. Sticking by the above-mentioned tips protects you from this disease condition.
The need for moderation in the use of technology has never been over-emphasized. Striking a balance to keep your cognitive prowess in place is important. Engaging your brain in daily activities, using assistive technologies, interacting with those around keeps you away from digital dementia.