It’s been years since our dependency on technology has increased drastically, may it be for the commute, entertainment or communication purposes. Technology, especially, the gadgets equipped with Wi- Fi has become an integrated and almost inseparable part of our lifestyle.
The advancement in modern technology available in consumer markets now- a- days have started providing amazing features at very affordable prices, televisions are being equipped with Wi- Fi that can access online databases with huge capacity of entertainment storage, modern cameras are becoming transfer- friendly with the introduction of Bluetooth and Wi- Fi such as Nikon’s wireless data transfer feature known as ‘Snapbridge’ and many more instances like such.
Although these advancements in technology are beneficial to humanity (well, at least 80% of the time) they come with their kind of setbacks.
For the past few years, there have been increasing ‘clumsy’ instances being reported due to the misuse of mobile phones and their modern latest features. We’ve heard about people falling into pits in search of Pokemon, people being hit by a bus when they crossed a ‘no pedestrian crossing’ signed road because they were “too busy” in texting, and the most recent incident of a man being stuck in the mud trying to get the perfect photo.
Mobile phones remember your password, manage your calendar, and notify you about your important stuff. Our reliability on mobile phones, may it be for any purpose, have drastically increased over the past few months, and you know, ‘excess of everything is bad.’ So researchers at the University of Texas, Austin took up a challenge to prove that this dependency is harmful to our brains.
About the research:
A group of researchers conducted a study on 800 individuals that tested the efficiency of their cognition relative to the varying positions of their smartphones. The test subjects in this research had to take computer-based tests that required a particular level of attention to successfully carry out the tasks and score well in the test. The test also evaluated each’s dependency on their smartphones. During the test, the subjects were randomly asked to place their phones in three different places; on their desks, in their bags or pockets, and in another room.
Believe it or not, the study yielded worrying results. The test results, combined, showed that the people tended to lose their cognitive ability as more approachable or noticeable their smartphone became. This means that the people whose mobile phones were placed in another room, quite far, were able to focus on the test more than those who had their phones placed in front of them.
What’s even more surprising is that this ‘lack of attention’ in the latter group was not due to ringing tones or notifications on their phones because all the phones were put on silent and placed face- down on the tables during the test. This proved that the mere presence of a smartphone took up the attention of individuals, draining some of the full cognitive capacity of their brains to think, evaluate and to make decisions. The more the person reported to be attached to and depended on their phones, the more focus they lost as the phone became approachable.
The researchers proved in their results that they saw a linearly increasing relationship of ‘brain drain’ with the relative position of their phones. In their study, they showed that the conscious mind of a person might not think about the phone apparently, but the sub-conscious effort of not thinking about it takes up the cognitive resource of a person’s brain.
The study is published in The University of Chicago Press Journal, entitled as “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity.” The authors include Assistant Professor Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos who belong to the University of Texas, Austin.
Keeping in view the results of this study, it is quite appropriate to say that your smartphone might be smart itself, but it makes you dumber. The millennial have a desperate need to cut short their smartphone dependency and to create a major portion of their lives in the ‘real’ world.
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