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Cell Phones Affect Memory

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Do cell phones make people stupid? According to new research, the answer is "yes." We rely on technology too much, and this has decreased our brain power.

Professor Ian Robertson at Trinity College Dublin showed that most UK citizens have to remember five passwords, five PIN numbers, two number plates, three security ID numbers, and three bank account numbers. This is an example of what many people express as "information overload," and most people can't remember all of this information. Cell phones, tablets, and other devices offer a solution, but people don't use their memories as a result. And the less you use up your memory, the poorer it becomes.

The study discovered that 25% of all Britons didn't know their home phone number. Only 33% could recall more than three birthdays of their immediate family members.

The study arranged the data into age groups, which gave clearer answers. It was more difficult for younger people to remember dates and numbers than it was for older people.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Cell phones are convenient and helpful devices.
  2. Cell phones are dangerous to humans.
  3. All my numbers and e-mails are in my cell phone because I can't remember them.
  4. I can remember my home phone number.
  5. Older people generally have better memories than younger people.

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. According to the article, cell phones make humans stupid.
  2. People can't remember numbers well because they have so many passwords.
  3. If you don't use your memory, it becomes poor.
  4. Most people in Briton don't know their home phone number.
  5. Older people couldn't remember numbers and codes as well as young people.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. How many birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates can you remember?
  2. Do you think your life would be better without your cell phone? Why/not?
  3. Can you think of other technology that has negatively affected our lives?
  4. What can you do to improve memory?
  5. Could you live without your cell phone? Please explain.

Google Search: Type "memory" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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