Digital dementia and South Korea’s internet addicted populace

South Korea certainly seems to have made most of digital revolution. The country can boast of one of the best internet connectivity in the world and is also the host to some of the major tech giants in the world such Samsung and LG. This also tells us how much Koreans value internet as well as latest smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. The numbers confirm this as more than 67 percent of population in South Korea owns a smartphone, which is highest in the world and 18.4 percent of teenagers spend more than seven hours a day hooked to their gadgets.


Heavy reliance on digital devices has disadvantages of its own and can lead to what South Korean’s call as “digital dementia”. Remaining hooked to gadgets all day can affect the balance of your brain. According to researchers people who spend considerable time with such devices develop left sides of their brain while the right side remains underdeveloped. This could well result in underdevelopment of cognitive abilities such as lack of attention and inability to concentrate for longer period of time. The condition is also related to shortening of memory span and emotional underdevelopment. So in case you are unable to remember your best friend’s phone number even though you call him almost every day it’s time to take reduce the amount of time you spend in front one screen or the other. The difficult part of digital dementia is that its side effects are permanent and cannot be reversed.

Dr. Manfred Spitzer, a psychiatrist at Ulm University published a book called, Digitale Demenz and is against any sort of use of digital media. According to Spitzer digital media makes us fat, dumb, aggressive, lonely and sick. This is not the first time though when heavy use of digital media has come under attack. Such speculations have been made as far back as early 1900s and time and again psychiatrists have predicted nervous disorders and decrease in cognitive abilities due to heavy use of gadgets. However, in spite of all these facts there is no way we can go back to the age without digital media and the solution seems to be a more limited, monitored and controlled use of digital media. Our governments, educational institutions, families and other organizations need to ensure that use of such media is within limits and doesn’t harm the younger generations. Spreading awareness related to harmful effects of excessive use of gadgets at schools, colleges can have even a bigger impact as most people are unaware of the ill effects of heavy use of gadgets

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