The growing phenomenon of ‘digital dementia’, an inability to recall everyday details such as phone numbers, has been highlighted as a cause for concern by South Korean doctors.
South Korea is a global leader in digital development but has suffered a number of unwanted side-effects of this prowess, notably the emergence of internet addicted children and addicts.
Now doctors are treating individuals suffering deterioration in brain power comparable to that experienced victims of a head injury.
Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, told the JoongAng Daily, said: “Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain.
"Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped.”
This lop-sided development impairs emotional development, concentration and the ability to form long-term memories, potentially leading to early onset dementia in 15 per cent of cases.
What’s more the situation appears to be worsening as the percentage of young people using their smartphones for more than seven hours a day hitting 18.4 per cent.