Smartphones and . . . Digital Dementia?
Remember your grammar school? Quick, what’s the name? If you can’t answer, you might be suffering from “digital dementia” due to . . . smartphone over-use.
It might sound like something concocted by a Sci-Fi imagination – part of the brain prematurely failing – but no . . . maybe it is science fact.
After rigorous studies, doctors in South Korea (where smartphone ownership, highest in the world at 67 percent) have issued a warning. Smartphones and other digital devices may slow down development to one side of the brain. The result? “Digital dementia.”
(Dementia, the slow loss of cognition – the ability to reason and remember – usually occurs in those older than 65.)
The “over-use of smartphones . . . hampers the balanced development of the brain,” said Dr. Byun Gi-won of Seoul’s internationally-known Balance Brain Center. “Heavy users [among young people] are likely to develop the only left side of their brains, leaving the right side [which uses reasoning, logic and memory] untapped, underdeveloped.”
And down the road? For some people, now in their prime, this can lead to long-term problems with attention, memory and emotional development.
A warning for us all? Certainly. Considering the present flood of smartphones being marketed – especially the “cheapies” being offered on the Internet, often from overseas – it is at the very least a cause for concern. And if the results can be corroborated elsewhere, what then are the legal ramifications?
Just to speculate: Do we set age limits on smartphone use? Or on the amount of usage itself? Does the government step in? And if there are limits, who’s to stop international black marketeers from ramping it up, glutting the marketplace?
Are individuals – often teenagers, or younger – liable if they are caught using smartphones? Or are they merely victims of a worldwide system already in place? And what of the vendors? Are they complicit? Does this become something akin to gun control?
The Blanch Law Firm does not want to be an alarmist. Such findings need further investigation. Right now . . . it’s some necessary questions which we are asking.
— Stephen Heath-Jones