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New research reveals 3 in 4 Aussies believe smartphones are hijacking our thinking

New research reveals 3 in 4 Aussies
believe smartphones are hijacking our thinking

  • 76% of Aussies blame electronic devices for poor concentration and focus
  • 54% can’t remember important deadlines without a device
  • 44% can’t remember appointments without a device
  • Under-40s are remembering details less effectively than over-60s

Are smartphones affecting our memory and recall? Most Australians think so, with new research revealing that three in four of us believe technology and smartphones have created a more distracted society, and a general lack of mental focus.

The finding comes from an independent, nationally representative survey of 1008 Australians, commissioned by Entity Health (entity-health.com), which produces a line of Australian-made natural health supplements that address specific health and skin conditions.

The results revealed that 76 per cent of Aussies believe smartphones and technology have generally led to people being more distracted, with poor focus and concentration.

Respondents were specifically asked which of the following types of information they could remember without the use of a technological aid: regular appointments, important deadlines, daily and weekly tasks, important birthdays, important phone numbers, passwords and pin numbers.

Worryingly, the results found that more than half of Aussies (54 per cent) cannot remember important deadlines without a reminder on an electronic device. Just over half (51 per cent) admitted to not remembering weekly tasks without a reminder on device.

Nearly half of Aussies (44 per cent) can’t recall regular appointments, 41 per cent can’t remember daily tasks they had set for themselves, and 30 per cent can’t remember important birthdays without a technology aid. Fifty-one (51) per cent admitted to not knowing important phone numbers without such help, while 26 per cent can’t remember passwords and pin numbers they use regularly.

Younger age groups have a bigger problem with memory

Surprisingly, younger generations reported being the worst at remembering all of these things without a technology aid compared with older age groups. For instance, 61 per cent of under-40s can’t remember important deadlines without a device, compared with respondents in their 40s (54 per cent), 50s (50 per cent), and those over-60s (48 per cent).

Similarly, 63 per cent of under-40s can’t remember weekly tasks without a device, compared with those in their 40s (55 per cent), 50s (34 per cent) and those over-60s (35 per cent).

Among those who say they can’t remember regular appointments without a device, this was true for 58 per cent of under-40s say, compared with those in their 40s (46 per cent), in their 50s (38 per cent), and over-60s (27 per cent).

Entity Health spokesperson Dr Janakan Krishnarajah says: “The brain has incredible potential for learning, memorising and recalling information. However, as a society we are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to retain data. Consequently, we are looking up information on digital devices rather than recalling information which is an effective way to create a permanent memory. This phenomenon of outsourcing memory has most of us relying on smartphone calendars, alarms and notifications to do our remembering for us.”

“It’s important that we keep our brains active. People can also improve their memory and concentration levels by getting a good night’s rest, engaging in physical exercise and by incorporating certain health foods and extracts such as black maca and bacopa that are both known to enhance memory and and improve mental clarity and concentration. These natural ingredients can be taken conveniently in supplementation form through products such as Entity Health’s ConcentriX.”

Things that respondents can’t remember without a technological aid   % of respondents
Important deadlines 54%
Important phone numbers51%
Weekly tasks51%
Regular appointments 44%
Daily tasks41%
Important birthdays30%
Passwords and pin numbers that I use regularly26%
Results across the age groups 18-29 years30-39 years40-49 years50-59 years60+ years
Important deadlines 61%60%54%50%48%
Important phone numbers56%55%52%45%47%
Weekly tasks59%67%55%34%35%
Regular appointments 57%59%46%38%27%
Daily tasks54%57%44%48%22%
Important birthdays36%38%32%25%21%
Passwords and pin numbers that I use regularly35%29%24%21%21%