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Digital Dementia

What is Digital Dementia?

What is digital demential? Digital dementia refers to a decline in cognition and in short-term memory loss from excessive use and reliance on technology. All of us are using our technology all the time to do tasks for us. These task used to be handled in your temporal lobe of our brain, which is responsible for memory, spacial awareness, auditory processing and more. Tasks like math, finding and getting to locations and memorizing things like phone numbers and important dates have all been are taken over by our phones and other electronic devices. We basically don't use that part of our brain anymore as much.

Who Does Digital Dementia Affect?

While Digital dementia affects everybody, it especially affects children and their development because while we as adults used to have to do manual math and find our way around town, children of this generation, have never really developed that part of their brain because they were born into a technological world. So this is especially concerning for them in the future, but it is something we adults also need to pay attention to as we age. 

How to Combat Digital Dementia

There are many things that you can do in order to exercise your temporal lobe, for example:

  • Drive a different route to work or to drop the kids off at school. If you use GPS to get there, try to drive home without it.
  • Call your favorite people like your, your husband or wife, your kids, your parents by actually dialing in their phone number instead of just clicking their name (Of course not when you're on the road or doing anything that you need to be safe with).
  • Play word games like Boggle and Scrabble. Even if you do play it on your phone, it's still a word game. So those are great games that can kind of exercise that part of your brain. 
  • You can also play a game with your kids at the stoplight. Challenge them and yourself to see how many things they can spot that start with the letter “L” or “T” before the light turns green. 
  • Practice handwriting, go slow and make it as neat as possible. Try writing with the opposite hand as well, go slow even though it may not be as neat as your dominant handwriting.
  • Say tongue twisters. Go slower if you stumble over words and go faster if it seems easy.

Little activities like these will start to strengthen the frontal lobe of your brain, waking it up, so that you can avoid dementia in the future. So what’s your game plan? Are you going to give these activities a try?

I hope you found this information helpful and remember, put your phones down, sometimes do a little manual math. It'll do your temporal lobe some good.  

Be well and take care.

Resources - 

  1. Digital Dementia video by Dr. Andrea Rosario of Teach Them Well.
  2. Luminosity App
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