I was inspired to write this post after a recent conversation with a friend, who was recounting how she’d been driving on a busy road, and found herself behind a car which was going hazardously slow . When she overtook the car, she saw the driver was texting on her phone and paying very little attention to what was in front of her, putting her own life and other people’s lives at risk.
Really dangerous behaviour but is it so uncommon, and why was this woman putting her own life and other people’s a risk for the sake of texting someone? According to the Department of Transport ‘s statistics the biggest in-car cause of fatalities is motorists texting, tweeting and taking calls.
Use of our phones is infiltrating every aspect of our lives and often to the detriment of our mental health and our relationships with others, with ourselves and the world itself. In fact studies show our excessive phone usage and our increased usage of social networking sites is leading to higher depression rates and insomnia, as well as erratic driving.
Disturbingly children and young people are at high risk of doing irreversible damage to their brain development, due to over usage of their phones and the internet.
Dr Spitzen, a Geman neuroscientist, coined the term ‘digital dementia’, a condition that is being seen widely in South Korea, where heavy usage of smartphones and game devices is commonplace. It describes a deterioration in cognitive abilities, that is more often seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness. Moreover, research shows that in 15% of these cases could lead to the onset of early dementia.
“Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain,” says Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul. Read More