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Three Ways Your Smartphone is Disrupting Your Life

Neeba M.

Posted on October 23, 2017 13:38

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Smartphones allow us to work faster, provide more personalized entertainment and stay up to date with the rest of the world. But is it safe to say that smartphones truly enhance our lives? Let's consider a few recent findings on smartphones and their less charming effects on our wellbeing to find out.

During the annual Freimarkt festival in the lovely city of Bremen, Germany, I was astounded to see the vast majority of people around me enjoying the firework show only through the screens of their phones as they snapped selfies and recorded short Snapchat videos. Even in the festival's beer tents and bars teeming with conversation, very few people under the age of 35 could be seen without a smartphone in their hand while talking and drinking with friends. I've always been a bit of a pessimist when it comes to technology and its effects on our society, but I started to wonder if any scientific evidence exists proving that smartphones truly are making us a bit dumb. Here is a short summary of what I managed to discover: 

1) Smartphones disrupt healthy sleeping patterns. A recent study conducted by San Diego State University regarding teenagers and their sleep schedules found a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and smartphone usage. The more time spent on a smartphone, the higher the chance the individual reported less than eight hours of sleep per night. This is reportedly due to light emissions from phone screens, and the general stimuli of media preventing sleepiness. So if you find yourself struggling to go to sleep, consider turning off your phone a few hours before bed and leaving it outside of your bedroom for the night.

2) Smartphones negatively impact learning and memoryMultiple studies have documented smartphones and their effects on human memory. One such study (link above) proved that even so much as taking a picture of an object or event reduced an individual's ability to accurately recall the event thereafter. Essentially, because you know and understand that you took a picture or video of the fireworks show, your brain doesn't see much use in remembering the experience precisely. So if you're the type of person who likes to snap photos and record videos for social media in order to "capture the moment," you might arguably be doing just the opposite! 

3) Smartphones encourage impulsive behavior. A study conducted by Hadar et. al. in 2015 found a disturbing link between heavy smartphone usage and an increase in impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and other ADHD-like symptoms in the user. Other related effects include a hindered ability to process information. In simpler terms, using smartphones might to an extent actually make us dumber as a result. 

So there you have it! Some unsettling findings regarding our love of our phones and how that love can potentially be hurting us. If you are concerned with any of these findings, worry not; all you have to do is turn off your phone every once in awhile. Leave it at home for an hour, put it away before bedtime, limit your screen time, and it's possible you'll find this decrease in usage to be quite beneficial for your brain in the long run! 

Neeba M.

Posted on October 23, 2017 13:38

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Source: Inc.com

Smartphones are addictive. Coders call it brain hacking, or addiction coding, and it could be dangerous to your health.

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