2 minute read
It may be too late, and most likely we will never really know if our smart devices become one of the key factors in the development of Alzheimer’s and associated disorders.
Your smart device will wake you up at the appropriate time in the morning for the day’s activities planned in. A phone can direct you to where you parked the car last night (so useful if you live in the inner city and don’t have a regular off-street parking space). Without having to plan a route, the GPS guides your meeting destination and onwards throughout the day.
Your exercise monitor tells you how many steps you’ve done, and when you need to get up from your desk and shake a leg. ‘To do’ lists pop up with priorities for upcoming tasks across home and work. A diet app helps monitor your balanced diet, suggesting deficiencies and food types to amend this. Or you can simply order ‘same as last time’ from the Thai takeaway, to be delivered to your door. There is no longer any reason ever to ‘forget” child pick up times, how much cash you have left in the bank, or the birthdays and activities of your friends and colleagues.
So the potentially scary fact is that we’re cutting down the daily mental exercise routines of active remembering and planning, which play a key part in keeping our brains healthy.
Indeed, cognitive training is one of the key factors researchers are pointing to for countering the onset of Alzheimer’s. Mental exercise like crosswords, sudoku, learning new languages are all being encouraged, alongside physical exercise and diet.
For just as cars and labour-saving devices took exercise out of our day-to-day routines, and convenience foods dumbed down the nutritional value of our eating, there is now a real danger that these mental-saving smart devices will leave us all with flabby brains, increasingly unable to function around the day-to-day.
“Hey Google, what day is it today?”
“Hey Google, who is that person in front of me calling me ‘dad’?”
“Hey Google, when am I going home?”
It’s a terrifying thought. App developers are onto helping us already, and for those looking forward to their later years, there’s apps like “My Reef 3D” being marketed to those with advanced dementia:
“Those who suffer from advanced dementia will find My Reef 3D fun and easy to use. The person can interact with fourteen different types of fish. Activities include stocking the aquarium with specific fish and fun things like tapping on the glass. This will, of course, annoy the fish, providing amusing interaction. There is also an option to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the reef.”
So maybe, for the sake of your brain, it might be time to tap out of some of your apps and go fishing this holiday?