Original CBR Article
Take a look at the original CBR article about a Kaspersky survey and then see if you understand my rant below …
[Caveat – my comments are based on the CBR report here as I haven’t read the Kaspersky report (which I can’t find on-line and annoyingly isn’t linked in the article). Other Kaspersky reports/surveys I’ve seen seem fairly well prepared constructed so I am assuming this is an issue with the CBR article. ]
Digital Amnesia TAKES HOLD!!!! Shock horror ..
Oh dear … whilst ensuring you don’t lose your data IS important and I understand that Kaspersky wants to sell me perfectly good services to help prevent that, this article is nonetheless rather disappointing in the way the “evidence” (sic) is unconvincingly thrown together.
– Telling me that 87% of people can’t remember their kids school phone numbers (now) and that smart phones are “crippling” our memory seems to heavily imply that we should infer that this is worse than earlier performance. Is it? Did it used to be 97% and actually smart phones are IMPROVING our memory. No way to tell.
This is like writing a piece about a man and getting excited that now he weighs 87Kg .. so what? What did he used to weigh? Is he starving or eating himself to death? See the problem? There may be an issue or worrying trend here but it would nice to have some evidence that was organised in a way that said that and offered some insight.
– The article seems to imply that using tools to support your memory is somehow a modern phenomenon. I closed my eyes and mentally replaced the idea of “Smartphone” with “FiloFax”, “Organiser” or “Address book” and guess what? I’m recalling how we all used to be “devastated” if we lost our organiser or our address book (that also had no backup). Just because the device/tool has batteries would seem to make very little difference to the impact on your recall: either the user relies on a portable (ubiquitous) offloaded record of the information or they don’t.
– The article wags a finger at us because we can’t remember our kids data. Again, it implies that we USED to remember but don’t any more. Nonsense. Kids previously didn’t have this much data: mobile phone numbers, email addresses, twitter handles, snapchat ID etc etc so this is another poorly constructed comparison. The amount of data (in this case proxies for identity) that *could* be memorised has been growing sharply ever since the birth of the Web and more sharply still since the advent of social networks and mobile platforms. And yes – it is harder to remember more things than fewer things…
I suspect the Kaspersky report is probably rather better constructed than this summary but that we couldn’t remember all this stuff even if we wanted to is surely “information overload” and not “amnesia”..?
Also as far as I understand it, people who constantly practice remembering things rather than off-loading them have better recall than those who don’t practice. Perhaps we should drop our technology (and our Kaspersky products!!) and just practice remembering things