Over-reliance on Google and smartphones is causing ‘digital amnesia’ across the UK as people struggle to recall basic phone numbers.
The UK population is suffering from ‘digital amnesia’, brought on by over-reliance on smartphones and Google to summon up information people no longer retain as memories.
Just under half of connected adults cannot recall their partner’s phone number, while 71 per cent can’t remember their children’s, a study from Kaspersky Lab has found.
Over half of 16-24 year-olds surveyed said their smartphone held almost everything they need to know or remember, as people increasingly store contact information and important details only in their digital devices.
“We need to understand the long term implications of this for how we remember and how we protect those memories,” said David Emm, principal security research at Kaspersky Lab. “The phone numbers of those who matter most to us are now just a click away – so we no longer bother to memorise the details.”
Dr Kathryn Mills, from UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, likened internet access to equivalent to electricity and running water across many societies.
Are we failing to remember basic information because of technology?
Three-quarters of 400 secondary school English teachers said that children’s attention spans were shorter than ever before, while 94 per cent claimed that pupils preferred to be using the internet rather than reading.