– South Korean doctors warn smartphones cause ‘digital dementia’ (Digital Journal, June 24, 2013):
South Korean doctors have found that increasing use of smartphones among young Koreans has led to a surge in incidence of “digital dementia” characterized by deterioration of cognitive abilities and symptoms found in people who have suffered head injury.
According to Dr. Byun Gi-won, a South Korean expert in cognitive problems related to computer and smartphone usage at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul, the high incidence of digital dementia in Korea is a side effect of the fact that the country has one of the world’s best developed and fastest networks with a very high rate of usage of digital devices by its citizens.
The South Korean Joongang Daily reports that Internet addiction had emerged among both adult and young Koreans as early as the late 1990s. Recent trends show that Internet addiction is giving way to iPhone or smartphone addiction.
Cases of “digital dementia” associated with smartphone addiction are characterized by memory deficits, attention disorders and emotional flattening among young people who spend too much time using a gaming device, web searching, texting, and multimedia on smartphones.