Could you win a pub quiz without sneakily checking at least a couple of answers on your smartphone? Do you find yourself thinking 'I'll just double check' and turning to Google for an answer which you actually knew but just couldn't be sure?

Kaspersky Lab’s recent study reveals that more and more of us are trusting our precious information and memories to digital devices and this is leading to a phenomenon termed ‘Digital Amnesia’. The study suggests a link between easily accessible data via the internet or your smartphone, and the failure to commit that information to memory. 

Half of us could phone the house we lived in aged 10, but not our children, the office or even our partners

The study reveals that the majority of connected consumers in the UK can’t recall critical phone numbers from memory, including those of their children (71%), children’s schools (87%), place of work (57%) and partner (49%). However, half (47%) could recall instantly their home phone numbers when aged 10 and 15.

The findings suggest that our inability to retain important information is due to the fact that we are handing over responsibility for remembering it to digital devices such as smartphones. Just over half (53%) of the youngest consumers surveyed (16 to 24 year-olds) say that their smartphone holds almost everything they need to know or recall.

Not surprisingly, the study also found that the loss or compromise of data stored on digital devices, and smartphones in particular, would leave many users devastated. Four in ten women (44%) and almost the same number of 16 to 24 year-olds (40%) would be overwhelmed by sadness since they have memories stored on their devices that they believe they might never get back. One in four women (25%) and 38% of younger respondents would panic: their devices are the only place they store images and contact information.

Here is some advice about how and why to switch off: 

How to manage smartphone use

Why you need to switch off