Modern technology could be damaging our minds by bombarding us with too much information, according to new research.
The development of smart phones means that we are becoming more adept at multi-tasking our way through life, as we switch between texts, emails, and tweets.
But evidence suggests that the constant demand to deal with multiple sources of information is weakening our ability to screen out irrelevant data and prioritise what is important.
Too much information? Research suggests that new gadgets are reducing our attention spans and making us slaves to modern technology
Researchers at Stanford University in California have already discovered that persistent multi-tasking can impede long-term memory.
But now a team from University of California (San Francisco) has concluded that multi-tasking can also hamper short-term memory performance, especially amongst older adults.
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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, scientists found that multi-taskers performed worse in tests where they had to jump from one task to another - suggesting that they were easily distracted by irrelevant information.
There are also concerns of possible technology addiction - with frequent users unable to stop checking their messages or sending out updates at every opportunity.
The newspaper quoted other research that shows we are spending more time connected to a keyboard. Youngsters now spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes on entertainment media per day, but because they are often using more than one medium at any one time, they actually absorb about ten hours and 45 minutes of content in 24 hours.
Five years ago, research suggested teenagers spent six hours and 21 minutes squeezing in eight hours and 33 minutes of content.
The lethal combination has forced some scientists to call for a 'technology diet' in a bid to prevent information overload.
Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, director of Stanford's Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, said: 'The best way to define it is in terms of the offline consequences.
'Are we suffering in terms of our cognition and attention spans because of all the time we spend online? Is our professional life negatively impacted because of all the nonessential Internet surfing we do at work?
'More and more, society is looking like a chat room.'