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March 8, 2021
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Research Shows More Reliance on Devices to Store Memory

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By Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

What is Digital Amnesia?

Kaspersky Lab defines it as the experience of forgetting information that you trust a digital device to store and remember for you.

Kaspersky Lab, an international software security company, assigned research firm Opinion Matters to conduct a survey on how digital devices affect the way consumers recall and use their memory.

The survey was conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 6,000 people aged 16 to 55+, split equally between male and female.

Interestingly, the study found that equally, across all age groups, both male and female, Digital Amnesia was evident. Surprisingly it’s more prevalent among older respondents.

Dr Kathryn Mills from the University College London said, “Reliance on digital devices, and the trust we place in them, can resemble a human relationship. The feelings are established in the same way through experience. Repeated experience with a reliable individual builds a ‘schema’ or association for that individual in our memory, telling us that this person can be depended on. If a digital device is continually reliable then we will build that into our schema of that device.”

Results show that majority of the digital users (mostly adults) cannot recall numbers that are linked to close companions (partners or children). However, were able to recall their home numbers at the age of 10 and 15 — times when connected devices weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now.

Most consumers say they’d be sad if they lose their personal data or access to it, because they have memories stored on those devices they could never get back.

29.1% of the users say they’d be calm, 19.8% say they’d panic – it’s the only place they have images and contact information on, and 7.2% don’t have connected devices to store information on.

With regards to behaviour related to internet searches, results show that consumers are happy to get information online then forgetting it after; using the internet as an extension of their brain. Also, they search online for the answer rather than having a think about it first.

Although many people rely heavily on their digital devices, many of them fail to protect their devices from malware. More men use anti-malware software solutions, than do women.

Overall the research indicates that digital amnesia is existent in all age groups, and not only in the younger generation. It also shows that whilst we depend on the internet and digital devices, we are very much prone to virus and malware attacks.

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