Thursday, July 19, 2007

Computers are killing our brains

The Telegraph reports: [edited]

In a society flooded with mobile phones, Blackberry devices and computers of various shapes and sizes, a quarter of all Britons do not know their own landline number while as little as a third can recall more than three birthdays of their immediate family.

The average citizen has to remember five passwords, five pin numbers, two number plates, three security ID numbers and three bank account numbers just to get through day to day life.

However, more than half of the 3000 people surveyed admitted to using the same password across all accounts, leaving them at risk of potentially severe security breaches.

Professor Ian Robertson, a neuropsychology expert based at Trinity College Dublin who carried out the study, said: “People have more to remember these days, and they are relying on technology for their memory.

“But the less you use of your memory, the poorer it becomes. This may be reflected in the survey findings which show that the over 50s who grew up committing more to memory report better performance in many areas than those under 30 who are heavily reliant on technology to act as their day to day aide memoir.”

As many as a third of those surveyed under the age of 30 were unable to recall their home telephone number without resorting to their mobile phones or to notes.

When it came to remembering important dates such as the birthdays of close family relatives, 87 per cent of those over the age of 50 could remember the details, compared with 40 per cent of those under the age of 30.

Men came off worse than women. Only 55 per cent of men could remember their wedding anniversary, compared to 90 per cent of women.


Anonymous said...

I find the last paragraph interesting. I think that number is higher now then it was before the influx of technology...

Big Bad Pete said...

On a similar line, since buying a computer all those years ago, I can count on the fingers on one hand the number of letters etc I've written by hand. As a direct consequence my handwritting is now even more illegable than ever.