Smartphones are wonderful devices but they are changing the culture and you may be suffering from "digital dementia."

Digital dementia is a real thing.

According to Alzheimer', digital dementia was described in neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer's 2012 book as what happens when we overuse technology and consequently, lose some of our cognitive abilities much the same as people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

Remember a time 30 or 40 years ago when all you had was a rotary dial or push- button phone and a phone book? Chances are you had the seven-digit phone numbers of many of your friends and family members memorized. I know I did. I'm sure I knew the phone numbers of at least 20 people. Today, besides my own cell phone number, I could call two people in the world without looking it up - my wife and my dad.

Our reliance on technology has grown to epic proportions and we don't even realize how dependent we are on it whether it's keeping track of our schedule, using Google maps, making phone calls, or finding information.

How many times have you used a Google map to find an address in Grand Junction? Whatever did we do before Google maps?

Spitzer's book says people who rely too heavily on technology can suffer from a deterioration of brain function like short-term memory.

The other side of this problem addressed in the video, is how the use of smartphones is affecting our relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.

Think about this. How do you feel when you are walking down the street with a friend or family member or having lunch with them, when suddenly they pull out their smartphone? What kind of message does that send to you? The fact is, it's rude behavior that we have become tolerant of and oblivious to.

Maybe you are standing in the hallway talking to a co-worker when they whip out their phone to see who's trying to contact them. How unimportant does that make you feel?

Maybe you are doing something with your spouse like watching one of your favorite TV shows but he/she is constantly looking at their phone, responding to messages, perusing Facebook, or playing games. It doesn't even feel like they are "with" you. Physically, yes, mentally no. You feel like you're watching television alone.

The problem can only get worse because so many of today's children have their own smartphones and are given unlimited use. This is the generation of the future - but it's possible we're already there.

I have to honestly say I am thankful for my smartphone and what it does for me. But, I do not like what I see happening in society because of this advancement in technology. I strongly encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes to look at the video below. It will make you think - something we all should be doing more of.


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