Fifty years after the first call made from a mobile phone, this device has become an indispensable multifunctional accessory in our lives, and the term smartphone was born to describe the technological leap. But will we humans, users of smart devices, become smarter than them or not?
Nowadays, when almost everyone goes to the toilet with a phone in hand, the majority of people consider their life unimaginable without their personal mobile phone. 2022 single research According to him, three-quarters of people in the United States worry about leaving their phones at home, and almost one in two admits to being addicted to a mobile phone.
According to the same research, American adults look at their phones an average of 344 times per day — which means they reach for their device every four minutes.
Based on the research results, Americans spend nearly 3 hours per day on their phones. For many, the distraction caused by cell phones is a huge problem because after finishing a quick task on the phone, they tend to check emails or social media accounts too – which in extreme cases can lead to endless scrolling.
We all experience its negative effects on our skin
We often talk about the fact that due to the proliferation of social networking sites, the image transmitted by stars and influencers, as well as the increasingly high-quality filters, many people, especially among young users, suffer from body or other self-image disorders. Estimation problems (which, by the way, Facebook experts are also aware of). So much so that this topic might get a little overshadowed when we talk about the effects of smartphones on the mind.
For this reason, we may not talk enough about the aforementioned phenomenon, which affects the vast majority of phone users, which is the vicious circle of infinite scrolling.
The more useful the phone becomes, the more it is used. The more we use these devices, the more we feel the need to check our phones even when we don’t. Concerns about certain aspects of our hyper-connected world aside — like social media and augmented reality beauty filters — what is our addiction to these devices doing to our brains? Does it only have bad effects or benefits?
Society’s addiction to smart devices is growing every year, and it’s hard for researchers to keep up. However, we know that even the simple distraction of checking your phone or seeing a notification can have negative consequences – He writes In a BBC article on the subject.
We all feel the distraction caused by the immediate proximity of our phone, and it is a known (and scientifically proven) fact that multitasking – when we have to pay attention to several tasks at the same time – is generally Spoil memory and performance. Perhaps the most dangerous daily situation related to this is the use of the phone while driving. A study presented by the BBC also found:
Drivers don’t even have to touch their phones for it to affect their reaction time, just by talking on the phone while driving.
This observation is also true for everyday tasks with less serious stakes: other to examine Because it has been proven that even phones notification tones can interfere with performing tasks almost as if a person were calling or texting.
Which means that not only the use of cell phones can have consequences, but the mere presence of the devices can also affect our thinking.
BBC One article research It is also introduced, where they investigated its effect on human performance,
- If your phone is in your field of vision,
- if it is near you, but you cannot see it (because, for example, the device was put in a pocket or bag),
- Or if the phone of the person performing the task is in another room.
Participants had to complete a series of tasks that tested information processing skills, memory, problem-solving or concentration.
During the research, group members who were as far away from their cell phones as possible performed best. And this was true even when the majority of participants claimed they did not consciously think about their devices.
In other words, it seems that even having the phone near us contributes to the deterioration of our brain performance.
Our brains can work subconsciously to suppress the urge to look at our phones, or constantly scan our surroundings to determine whether or not we need to look at our phones — for example, when we’re waiting for a notification. And that distraction can make it difficult to get anything else done. The only “solution” the researchers found was to put the phone in another room.
But it also has positive effects
According to a BBC journalist, people’s addiction to gadgets can have a good side. It’s often thought that relying on our phones wastes our ability to remember — but it may not be that simple.
In a recent study, participants were shown numbered circles on a screen and asked to swipe the numbers left or right. The higher the number on the circle, the more money the participants got for moving the items to the right place. In half of the trials, the participants were allowed to mark on the screen which circle should go in which direction. However, in the other half, people could only rely on their memory.
Not surprisingly, the digital crutch helped them perform this task. What might have been surprising, however, is that when participants used these reminders, not only did they better remember the high-value rounds, but also the low-value ones that they had not written themselves.
The researchers believe that once the most important information—in this case, the high-value numbers—was attributed to a device, space was freed up in the participants’ memory—making room for the unhelpful information, namely the low-value numbers.
True, when the digital crutch was taken away from them, their memories of the lower-value circuits remained—but they could no longer recall the higher-value circuits.
Many years of research will be required before we know exactly what our addiction to devices does in the long term to our willpower and thought processes that include perception, reasoning, and memory. Meanwhile, there is another way to try to mitigate the harmful effects. And it has to do with how we think in our brains.
David Robson he is writing expectation effect In his book, this latest research challenges the belief that by using our willpower—for example, when we unconsciously resist the temptation of a phone screen—we “deplete” our general reserves and make it more difficult to focus on our tasks. The specialist, who used to work for the BBC, believes that it largely depends on what we think about our abilities.
Individuals who believe that our brains have “limited” resources are actually more likely to display this phenomenon when tested. But for those who think our brains have unlimited resources, exercise self-control, or get a task done while mentally tired, Not negatively affected their performance in the next task.
Limited or unrestricted perceptions of the brain may be highly cultural—and in Western countries such as the United States, they are more likely to be they think People that mind is limited as in other cultures like India.
Although there are many questions about the impact of smartphones, which have become one of the most important devices in our lives in recent years, on our brains, it is certain that these gadgets will play an increasingly important role in our daily lives.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first phone call (made on April 3, 1973), the BBC contacted the engineer who started the conversation, who was working for Motorola at the time. He is 94 years old Marty Cooper that Tellthis two kilograms Using a device, which at the time of course could only be used to make and receive phone calls, he contacted a competing carrier—they didn’t get a word out, because they had been developing their phones for cars for years.
By the way, the ancient engineer never dreamed that half a century after the first phone call we would have, that our mobile phone would turn into practically an assistant that could be put in our pocket at any time. And as a techno-optimist, he sees smartphones as “a central player in our great future.” However, he also added that he believes
We are still at the beginning of the mobile revolution.