Digital technology is used everywhere and all over the world. It is used in classrooms, hospitals, and in grocery stores, we even use it to help us find where we need to go by using GPS and keeping in touch with family members and friends. Whether, we like it or not technology has taken over our lives. Technology has quickly developed over the past decades and continues to expand today. As much as it has helped shape our world into what it is today, it has also created many problems. There are many problems or issues that this essay will cover. It will first cover digital dementia and how technology causes addiction. Next will be the loss of human interaction and the dangers of the internet. I will then talk about the positives of digital technology and how it has helped us like all the different communication possibilities, social medias and the convenience of it all.
Digital dementia is a term invented by the neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer. It is a term used to describe how the excessive use of digital technology has an effect on the breakdown of cognitive abilities. In 2012, Dr. Manfred Spitzer published his book Digital Dementia: What We and Our Children are Doing to our Minds. “Spitzer’s conclusions are stark: Digitizing classrooms can have a negative effect on learning, especially in young children, undermining the neuroplastic capacity of their brains. And, in contrast, there are no independent studies “that unequivocally establish that computers and screens in the classroom make learning more effective.” Over time, leaning is stunted, and reliance on digital devices results in dependency. “In reality”, concludes Professor Spitzer, “using digital media in kindergarten or primary school is actually a way of getting children addicted.” And additionally, the multi-tasking that comes with smartphones, tablets, and computers inhibits concentration and impedes the development of the right side of the brain.”(Dr. Manfred Spitzer)
While many of us have grown up to remember a phone numbers and other key information by memorizing it, most kids nowadays have grown up to not needing to remember things like phone numbers as a result of that devices do that for us. In the blog “Do You Have Digital Dementia?” written by Sophia Ruan Gushée she states, “ In an article published in Psychology Today Digital Dementia explores neuroscientist Spitzer’s proposal that “short-term memory pathways will start to deteriorate from underuse if we overuse technology.
The negative cognitive effects of using too much technology include increased rates of ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, anxiety, learning disorders, and sleep disorders. But the consequences don’t stop there.” Many adults can suffer from an overuse of technology which can lead to lateralization of brain function which means that the brain suffers from imbalance. We have become very dependent on technology to the point where we are ruining our brains. Not only has technology caused digital dementia it also has caused addiction. Digital technology has become an addiction for many of us, and we do not even realize it. According to Susan Ladika in her blog Technology Addiction “Addiction specialist have found out that over excessive video games, social medias, or other online technology can affect the brain in the same way that a drug or alcohol dependency does.
Some other specialist question whether or not a compulsive amount of technology meets the clinical definition of addiction. They have argued that the overuse of technology falls under the category of anxiety, depression, or attention deficit disorder.” It is also known that some industries such as Facebook or Instagram design their product to be addictive, despite the fact that many have tried to deny this. In Ladika’s blog Technology Addiction, an example of technology addiction would be, “ According to an open letter to Apple by a group of concerned investors, the average American child receives his or her smartphone is age ten, and teens spend more than 4.5 hours per day on their smartphones, not counting time spent texting and talking.
Nearly 80 percent of teens said that they check their phones at least every hour.” Ladika goes into explain exactly what addiction is and how technology can be considered addictive.
- “Dr. Manfred Spitzer.” Www.humanitiesinmedicine.org, humanitiesinmedicine.org/manfred-spitzer/. Accessed 10 November. 2018
- Gushée , Sophia Ruan, and editors. “Digital Dementia | The Symptoms And The Treatment | Nontoxic Living.” WiFi Router EMF Exposure: What’s A Safe Distance? | Nontoxic Living, 7 Nov. 2017, www.nontoxicliving.tips/blog/are-you-experiencing-digital-dementia. Accessed 10 November. 2018