Do you have digital dementia? -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Do you have digital dementia?

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Think of your best friend or a close family member. Now, could you write that person's number down without looking it up?

If you are having a hard time remembering those digits, you are not alone.

According to a new study, as people become more dependent on technology, they rely less on the right side of their brain, leaving it underdeveloped.

"Digital dementia" is a term coined in South Korea, one of the most digitally-connected nations in the world.

The term has to do with deterioration in cognitive abilities commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

But according to this new study, those suffering from "digital dementia" are people who rely heavily on technology instead of their brains.

We spoke to a few East Texans who have well over 100 phone numbers saved in their smart phones. Out of all of those numbers, how many do they have memorized?

"One," replied Mark Franzen, the manager at Geek World. 

"Probably only my mom's and my dad's," replied 15-year-old Carter Koehler.

"Four that I can think of," said Patrick Rydzak.

Geek World is a comic, gaming and computer repair shop in Tyler. Franzen said he thinks the experts might have a point when they said video games and smart phones have something to do with a surge in younger generations with poor memory.

"I think it's got to be, because I remember before I had a cell phone that I would remember all of my friends phone numbers. I don't even try to and memorize it because I know if I look away it's gone," Franzen said.

But others said their memory improved as technology has advanced.

"When I got a little older and actually started getting more heavily into video games and got a smart phone and started doing stuff in computers and stuff like that, it helped me a lot with my memory," said Thaddaeus Davidson.

If there is truth to this study, the next question is, would people make a conscious effort to become less dependent on technology? For Franzen, it is not worth it.

"Given the choice of having a perfect memory, or having access to all of human knowledge, I'd take access to all of human knowledge," Franzen said.

The Korean findings come after a UCLA study determined men and women between the ages of 18 and 39 complained their memory was poor.

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