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Tackling digital dementia to prevent vehicle collisions might well be something we need to do increasingly in the future. The phrase digital dementia was coined by Manfred Spitzer in 2012 following studies in South Korea, one of the most digitally connected countries in the world. It describes our overuse of technology like smartphones and how it’s breaking down our cognitive abilities. In the worst cases, it appears to change brain function in a way that gives effects similar to those caused by a brain injury or psychiatric illness.
We have all the information we need when we do a Google search and we don’t have to remember phone numbers anymore because they’re stored in our contacts list. We just don’t need to remember things like we used to.
This gives an imbalance in our brain development and this affects the ability to concentrate and reduces attention span and memory. I’m not sure who calculated this but a goldfish apparently as an attention span of 9 seconds. What’s worrying is that our average attention span has reduced to around 8 seconds.
It also affects the ability to manage emotions such as anger. None of these symptoms are conducive to a good standard of driving behaviour.
We pick up our phones on average 58 times a day and spend over three hours a day on them. Half of our screen time sessions occur within three minutes of our last screen time session. Researchers have found that smartphone use increased massively during the pandemic.
So if you have a colleague who:
They may well have digital dementia.
The good news is that digital dementia can be reversed, but positive action needs to be taken. How can your employees reverse digital dementia and look after their brain? Here are a few tips you can give them:
I hope you’ve found these suggestions useful. If you need help developing a system for managing driving at work activities, please get in touch at email@example.com
If you need more help on this subject or any aspect of Fleet Safety call us on 0333 567 2003.