Your smartphone is sure to make you less smart. Personally, smartphone is one of the best as well as worst inventions of mankind. It depends on how it is used, who is using it and when it is used-all of these relying on a person’s discipline and willpower, which many of us lack.
Smartphones are an object of convenience and connectivity. They make the world seem a small one at our fingertips, enable us to trade stocks lying in the convenience of our couch, shop online standing in a queue, find romantic partners between office meetings, transfer money to our loved ones in the click of a button and share live experiences to people living across the globe. A research shows that 91% people never leave their home without their smartphone while 46% accept that they can never live without one. Most of us look at our smartphones first thing in the morning, last thing in the night and sometimes even check them during the middle of the night.
Let’s assume a scenario where you are given a couple of math problems to solve which needs your complete focus. In between solving this, you are also asked to remember a couple of random phone numbers which makes it tougher. Meantime, the sound of jarring music or loud chatter can disturb us extremely when we are trying to focus on the problem at hand. But, what is the role of a smartphone in all this hustle and bustle? The answers are given by the latest study that shows that the simple existence of a smartphone (you don’t even have to look at it, receive calls or text messages) is good enough to disrupt and impair cognitive ability. It clearly shows that smartphones may induce ‘brain drain’ as it is the same set of attention resources that support attention control and cognitive processes. Attention given to our phones sets a deficiency in attention resources given to cognitive abilities.
The Story Goes Like This
The study involved a group of 520 students who were asked to complete a series of tasks that required their focus, attention and problem-solving skills. The students were split into three groups-the first group was asked to place their smartphones in another room, the second group was asked to keep it where they usually do and the third group was asked to keep their phones on the desk besides them. The performance of the students totally depended on the placement of the smartphones:
Only a decade back if someone had told that we would be connect to each other in real-time, we would have laughed on the person’s face. While the state of being constantly connected to someone was impossible a few years back, it is indispensable now! Smartphones pave way for more time, resources and knowledge but also create space for decline in cognitive ability and social interaction.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.