Digital Dementia Poem

Digital Dementia Poem By Sue Ellson Photo of Wartook Property Victoria

Digital Dementia Poem

By Sue Ellson


I saved the file
I copy / pasted the text
I screenshot an item
I forgot what was next


I backed up my device
I added files to the cloud
I protected it with security
I forgot to read aloud


I put appointments in my calendar
I still need text reminders
I don’t make commitments
I forget to turn up with flowers


In a digital world
We outsource our mind to a device
We assume it works better than our brain
But it traps us like a vice


We forget our own capacity
For thought, word and deed
Our body responds with illness
To bring us back to reality


Our internal compass knows
Where the truth really lies
To truly be in our society
We need to divert our eyes


Let’s move away from a screen
And focus on our vision
Technology is only a tool
But cannot replace intuition


Our soul is our truth
Digital is a myth
Dementia is a symptom
Of focus gone adrift


Let’s release our grip
On technology tools
Let’s re-group and re-ground
And re-shine like jewels


This poem was triggered by a comment in this video from the Diary of a CEO podcast with Jim Kwik and Steven Bartlett called ‘The Memory Expert: Do You Want A Perfect Memory?‘ on 26 June 2023 on ‘digital dementia‘ at 00:11:08 which is defined as ‘the higher reliance of technology to store information that you would normally have to store in your brain but now that you don’t have to do it not everybody is exercising those parts of our brain to keep our memory sharp.’

I want to clarify that I am not referring to the medical diagnosis of dementia.

My interpretation is that ‘digital dementia’ is essentially an expression to describe the outcome of our over-use of technology.

This has come into sharp awareness this year.


Because I have been working with older clients who do not have a lot of digital skills, but they can recite poems without prompts, they can remember appointment times without writing them down, they can turn up on time without a reminder and they can recall a wide range of information instantly.

Conversely, since I have increased my reliance on technology, I have noticed a gradual reduction in my ability to focus, memorise information or rely solely on what I have learnt to produce results.

Naturally, technology is not leaving us.

Naturally, I keep learning new technology.

Naturally, I need to make conscious decisions about how much to do with technology and how much to do with my brain.

It is very tempting to outsource so many tasks to technology, especially when it SEEMS to be more consistently reliable.

But it also breaks.

And then what do we do?

We rely on our brains!

For example, I recently took a photo from the book of maps at my Dad’s house. I then went on a drive in the country using a maps service on my phone. Alas, the internet connection vanished. If I didn’t have my phone charged or the picture of the map on my phone, I would have no idea where I was, even with reasonable road signage and I could have easily become lost.

So it is with life.

Technology is here. Continuous learning is essential. But a touch of ‘reality’ in all that we do will allow us to integrate these tools with our innate human capacity.

With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of sheep grazing on a property called ‘Wirilda’ – the home of Missy the dog who collects golf balls in Wartook, Northern Grampians, Victoria, Australia on 22 November 2023.

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