digital dementia
n. Impaired memory and cognitive functioning due to the extended use of digital devices.

Example Citations:
The 2-year-old who can nimbly use an iPad or kill a gazillion monsters playing a video game isn’t necessarily a genius, says Dr. Manfred Spitzer, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist. That child could be en route to trouble with memory and thinking, a condition Spitzer and others call “digital dementia.”
—Mary Ann Roser, “Digital dementia’ for our screen-addicted kids,&lrquo; The Seattle Times, March 16, 2014

Meanwhile, doctors in gadget-hooked South Korea have coined the term “digital dementia” after seeing app-addicts with memory and cognitive issues similar to brain injury.
—Sandara Dick, “What will paint rosy childhood memory?,” Edinburgh Evening News, March 18, 2014

Earliest Citation:
Digital dementia is when people rely on digital devices like personal computers or cellular phones to the extent that they cannot even recall their own phone numbers.
—“You Too May Have Digital Dementia,” The Chosunilbo, January 28, 2005

Notes:
While the sense of digital dementia that refers specifically to impaired memory and thinking dates to 2005, the more general sense of the phrase is quite a bit older (probably because some writers just can't resist the alliteration):

Perhaps if the telephone company realized that its subscribers are not all intelligent enough to have a 13-digit memory span, but are astute enough to recognize needless imposition when they see it, Bell might halt this digital dementia before it is irrevocably committed to it.
—Larry M. Agranove, “All-Number Dialling,” The Globe and Mail, August 2, 1962

Related Words:

Categories: