Is ‘Digital Dementia’ Affecting Your Workforce’s EQ?

When was the last time you completed a task without becoming distracted by an email? Have you engaged in a long social encounter without escaping to your cell phone to check Facebook or a text? As we have become more interconnected and dependent on technology our brains are also beginning to respond to these changes and function differently. Now think about how many times these distractions are multiplied across your entire employee base.

We have previously discussed the flexibility and elasticity of the brain and how it can be rewired to become more resilient, or emotionally aware. Now a new study suggests that the moldability of our brains might also be causing us to lose certain functions that are critical to our ability to socialize and collaborate.

An article featured in the New Zealand Herald says that a recent study found that 14% of young adults are experiencing memory loss along with other symptoms common to those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The article defines ‘digital dementia’ as the over-use of technology, causing cognitive problems in the brain such as a lack of empathy, memory loss, irritability, and changes in interpersonal behavior.

And according to Dr. Gary Small, UCLA psychiatry professor and member of the study’s advisory board, “new technology is not only changing our lives, it’s also changing our brains.”

A Seattle Times article says “the term ‘digital dementia’ was coined a few years ago in South Korea, home to one of the highest digital-using populations [where] doctors reported seeing young patients with memory and cognitive problems, conditions more commonly linked to brain injuries.”

Many organizations and employees are forced to multi-task, day in and day out, and that is just the nature of the job. But many organizations do not equip their teams with skills needed to stabilize their social behaviors.

Behavioral EQ measures 15 core components which allow us to better understand the areas of our behavioral and emotional intelligence skills that need boosting, and also provides us with guidance in how to optimize these skills. Behavioral EQ looks at many areas that can be hindered by our dependency of technology, such as Listening, Self-Control, Conscientiousness, Empathy and Stress Management, which allows us to reclaim our ability to function in our highly digitized world.

There is a cyclical nature of our reliance on technology. Many times we depend on it when we feel stressed or uncomfortable, thus putting us back further in our workload or obstructing our social experiences even more. Even though you might not be able to control what technologies your employees use, you can help them develop skills to counter/manage the affects and to boost the productivity in your offices. Behavioral EQ training gives learners the tools to escape the cycle, and pinpoints exactly which components need to be expanded or improved upon.