Smartphones have been of great use to humanity, apart from the fact that they enable us to communicate with friends and loved ones, they provide us with a constant connection to the rest of the world and also help us with our day to day activities based on the applications we install.
But can they actually be hindering us? No doubt, many can’t stay for a few days without their mobile phones, we feel left out if we haven’t checked in on social media, play our favorite mobile games (mine is Beach Buggy Racing), or flip through a couple of Snapchat pics and Instagram updates. Now a new study shows that the ever-present urge to use our smartphones is actually reducing our brainpower, even if we refuse to adhere to it.
Adrian Ward of the University of Texas at Austin and his colleagues conducted this study, they measured the brain power of about 700 smartphone users while performing a variety of tasks. These participants were asked to complete various tests which measured their cognitive abilities in an effort to gauge the amount of information their brains could handle.
Individuals were selected at random to place their smartphone either in their pocket, on the desk at which they were sitting, or in a totally separate room.
From the research, it was noted that those who were instructed to put their smartphones in a different room handily outperformed those who had their devices readily available, also, the participants who had their phones in their pockets also beat out those whose phones were visible on the desk in front of them.
According to Ward, “It’s not that participants were distracted because they were getting notifications on their phones, the mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity.”
The study suggests that, just the mere presence of your smartphone can hinder your ability to process information and carry out tasks, even if you’re not actually using it.
A smartphone is a mobile personal computer with a mobile operating system with features useful for mobile or handheld use. Smartphones, have the ability to place and receive voice/video calls and create and receive text messages, have personal digital assistants (such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, or Bixby), an event calendar, a media player, video games, GPS navigation, digital camera and digital video camera. They can also Smartphones can access the Internet through cellular frequencies or Wi-Fi and can run a variety of third-party software components
In 1999, the Japanese firm NTT DoCoMo released the first smartphones to achieve mass adoption within a country. Smartphones became widespread in the late 2000s. In the third quarter of 2012, one billion smartphones were in use worldwide.