How technology affects our brain

According to our research, we’re all at risk of digital amnesia - our ability to remember everyday details as we become more dependent on technology.

We surveyed over 2,000 people recently and found that many had difficulty remembering events if they were not stored in their phone.

  • 1 in 4 don’t know their own mobile phone number
  • 69% don’t know their partner’s number off by heart
  • 63% can’t recall their best friend’s birthday

Are we too reliant on tech?

It’s likely that with access to everything at our fingertips, we’ve forgotten how to recall information from memory, the flip side is we probably have more space to be more creative.

But what would happen if all our trusted devices suddenly stopped working? We know people would find it difficult to contact friends, but we also discovered that a whopping 73 per cent will end up missing their vacations as they need to check tech for their dates.

The roads would be an interesting place to be too as people would struggle to find their way to their destinations - 64 per cent rely on tech for directions.

In truth, we rely on our devices for the majority of our daily activities instead of our brain.

  • 45% use tech for shopping
  • 39% use tech to access transport
  • 38% use tech for times and dates of events.

Those surveyed also admitted to reaching for their devices to carry out simple, basic tasks, such as a math calculations or spelling.

On the surface this may not seem important, why do you need to remember a phone number if you have it stored in your phone? You don’t, but the brain is a muscle and it helps to exercise it every day.

Simple tactics such as spending a few minutes trying to recall information instead of instantly reaching for your phone will help, along with being mindful during every activity. Perhaps taking less photos and trying to remember all elements of an experience will help us recall more memories too.

Keep data safe

If people put so much trust in technology it’s worth backing up data and keeping it secure.

We know passwords are easily forgotten, around 8 per cent of our users reset their password each month. But it’s still best to use strong, unique passwords and not store them in obvious places. Tools like 1Password are useful as you can store all your complex passwords there and you only need to remember one to access them all.

It’s also a good idea to review privacy settings to make sure your personal data isn’t being shared with third parties.

It’s good to be organized

Almost a third or our respondents (31 per cent) described themselves as disorganized.

  • 24% have been late for appointments in the past 12 months
  • 23% have missed birthdays
  • 21% have forgotten to pay bills
  • 15 % double booked or missed social events, respectively.

Being disorganized was also having a negative impact on their work life too with 29 per cent saying they missed deadlines and arrived late to meetings.

There was a clear link between technology and being more organized with two-thirds (64 per cent) of all respondents saying they use technology, such as online calendars, digital to-do lists and reminders, to keep their lives in order.

Our reliance on tech is showing no signs of slowing down and when used correctly it helps keep us more organized. But it’s probably not a bad idea to exercise our brains regularly and test our memory - so let’s have a go - when exactly is your best friend’s birthday?

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