Mind Over Media: Digital Amnesia - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Mind Over Media: Digital Amnesia

We panic without our phones, can't continue without our contacts, and are lost if we can't look something up. All this is part of a growing trend in the digital age called digital amnesia.
"We're not really working those parts of our brains that function as memory and retrieval functions because we're letting that technology do that for us," explained LCSW Byron Webb, a therapist for CHPM Counseling Services in Wichita Falls.
A study, commissioned by the software security group Kaspersky, found that half of the participants would immediately turn to the Internet before trying to remember something, and almost half admit their smart phone serves as there memory for phone numbers or information. 
But is your iPhone erasing your memory? Therapist Byron Webb says no. 
"I don't know if the smartphone is destroying our brains or the way we memorize or access information," Webb said. "I think it's changing it in ways that we've never seen before because this is a new technology."
Although the technology might be new, the concept of our brains adapting to changes in society is far from it.
"When I was a kid, everything was in Encyclopedia Britannica," Webb said. "I didn't memorize it. I just knew where to go for it. And that's no different than what's going on today."
Some have questioned if the simple concept of memorization will become obsolete.
Webb doesn't think that will happen. Human beings have always memorized the things that are relevant to us, and the things that are not as useful, we forget. In any case, Webb said the things we tend to remember are the aspects of life we have the strongest emotional connection to.
So..how would you feel if you lost your phone?
"There's been a couple of times where I couldn't use my phone, and I just gasped," Texoman Tanya LeValley said.
"I wouldn't be as hurt as some people but, I'd be hurt," admitted Texoman Amar Bedford.
Some Texomans would be willing to go completely without technology.
We'll...sort of.
"I'd be willing to put down the phone," Texoman Brytney Chaddock said, "just don't stick me on a desert island without it, I'd have a heart attack."
Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6

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