What if Tom Hanks, in Cast Away, happened to be a modern day gadget buff and lost a Nexus 6 phone when his Fedex plane fell out of the sky, landing him close to an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic? My guess is he would literally go nuts.
A recent survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab on peoples' reliance on smartphones has unsurprizingly unveiled a new epidemic commonly called 'Digital Amnesia.' It notes that the reliance is such that people are increasingly suffering from deeply-worrying memory loss.
So even if Hanks suddenly came across a phone booth on the island, he probably wouldn't know which numbers to call.
Out of six thousand people interviewed, an astounding seven out of ten adults didn't remember their childrens' phone numbers. This number swelled to nine in ten when it came to remembering numbers of their childrens' schools.
Most adult smartphone users are quite conversant with that crippling helpless feeling when the smartphone isn't around. Not only is it based on the Google effect, today's smartphones are normally entrusted with storing so much personal information that people deem it unnecessary to even remember critical details that they normally must. While it seems logical not to memorize details that your gadgets can, the situation can be equally pathetic if you lose your smartphone or if its battery dies.
Just like what Tom Hanks felt when he saw the Nexus 6 dive down to the bottom of the Atlantic.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said, “Connected devices enrich our lives but they have also given rise to digital amnesia. We need to understand the long-term implications of this for how we remember and how we protect our memories.”
While selective memorizing isn't exactly outlawed, putting too much faith on gadgets can, over a long run, diminish our natural memorizing abilities given the lack of exercise our brains get. However, given that the march of technology won't be reversed anytime soon, we may find other means to remember those little things that our grandfathers did.