When was the last time you had to memorize a phone number? Chances are it has been years, given that you can simply use your digital device to memorize that number for you. In a world that continues to embrace digital solutions as part of our everyday lives, a new phenomenon is starting to spread across the country, known as “digital amnesia” or “The Google Effect”. According to experts, digital amnesia can be seen as the experience where our brains are fast losing their ability to remember information as we become reliant on technology to retain data. In other words, our addiction to electronic devices could be impairing our brain’s ability to retain new information.
Distraction is one of the key factors in this regard. According to a survey conducted by the Mopria Alliance, the top distractions that all workers face are in fact digital communications: from text or chat to checking personal emails or surfing the web. When we are busy multitasking on our digital devices, we are only half-focused on learning a new skill, which means the information is unlikely to get stored in our long-term memory. Although this concept may seem scary, there are ways that you can take to overcome it.
Institute a Screen-Free Day
Perhaps the first piece of advice is to start choosing one day of the week where you put away your laptops and smartphones in a hallway closet or in a completely different room. If you need something to wake you up that day, avoid using your phone, as it’ll likely drive you to check your notifications and messages before you’re even stepping out of bed. By not staring at your devices, you’ll give your brain (and eyes) a break.
Exercise Your Memory
Instead of relying on your phone to take you places, define the workouts for you, or walk you through a recipe, start printing the instructions and train your memory to see if you can remember them. There are several memorization techniques you can use, but regardless of which ones you choose, physical paper is a key component in all of them. It allows you to exercise your brain to find the answer (or place, or workout) within the pages themselves, rather than asking your phone to locate that for you.
Simplify Your Digital Life
There is no denying that using your digital devices is extremely handy. However, digital clutter can be disruptive to your mental health and productivity. Although we can try and avoid using digital devices, it is undeniable that we will need them for certain tasks. Simplifying your digital life can help overcome digital amnesia. From cleaning up apps that you’re not using; to using services that limit the amount of time you’re surfing the web, to silencing certain notifications on your devices. Removing what is not necessary information can help you be less dependent on your devices.
Despite the so-called digital amnesia, technology does have its place in our lives. It can be a very effective tool, but its usefulness, or lack thereof, entirely depends on how you use it. You just have to learn how to be mindful of it so it doesn’t take over.
The Mopria Print Service app can also help you cut down on the digital disruptions by taking you to the good old paper world. With this app, you can connect and print from your Android device to more than 120 million Mopria certified printers without additional set-up. To try out the Mopria Print Service App and explore some of its printing functions, you can download the app here.