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BizReport : Internet : July 06, 2015

Study: 'Digital amnesia' the result of over-reliance on mobile

A study across Europe and the U.S. concludes that the Internet and mobile devices are the cause of 'digital amnesia' with many relying on technology to store information we once stored in our head. Losing your phone would be akin to losing your memory.

by Helen Leggatt

Research by software security firm Kaspersky Lab among people in Europe and America found that the Internet and devices such as smartphones and tablets are performing the function of a brain add-on. The consequence is that we're starting to see people suffering from 'digital amnesia'.

For example, more than half of the European adults surveyed said they could not remember their children's mobile phone numbers and needed to consult their smartphone and one in three could not recite their partner's mobile number. Across all 6,000 respondents, 57% could not remember the phone number of their place of work.

A whopping 91% of Americans said they are dependent on the Internet and devices to remember things, and consider them as an extension of their brain. About 80% of the Europeans participants said they use Internet as a universal reference book.

Among respondents in the 16-24 age group, more than half said their smartphone holds all the information they need to remember.

"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 memorize the details."

It's little surprise, then, to learn that a lot of emotional attachment is assigned to mobile devices with many saying (51% of American and 40% of European respondents) they would be incredibly distressed if they were to lose their device or, as the study suggests, their memory.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Internet, memory, mobile, research

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