Are you reading this text on your smartphone right now? Congratulations! Then you probably have a better chance of remembering what you read later. Analogue nostalgics have been warning of the danger that cell phone use could pose for a long time. But the fear of so-called “digital dementia” may be unfounded.
Researchers at the University of London have now discovered that smartphones not only do not weaken our memory, but actually strengthen it. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, proves that relying on your phone and offloading certain information to the device can help you retain less important information. Both the digitally stored and the additionally recorded information can be remembered better.
While masses of celebrities such as actor Lars Eidinger are currently saying goodbye to social media in order to counteract harmful addictive behavior, this study is likely to initiate a countertrend: that of internet consumption with a clear conscience. For a long time, mobile phones have been considered a toxic poison that can only be rid of, if at all, with the help of radical deprivation. However, the latest findings elevate the digital device to health-promoting medicine.
While that doesn't eliminate the other concerns that technology pessimists repeat like a mantra—zoom fatigue, lack of concentration, poor eyesight, loss of authenticity, photo envy—we now know that there's no greater risk of forgetting these dangers any time soon.