How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds

How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds

The Smart Phone is Unique: it is some glossy little rectangular thing, but we find it very significant in making our moments complete. We find it with us every moment as our companion everywhere we go. Not enough we find ourselves pulling it out of its confines every moment checking on its contents as if it had been away from us for some time. The small garget has become the teacher, guru, secretary confessor among other myriads of functions. In fact, the garget has taken most of the typical owner’s attention; we scroll them down consulting its apps, taking photographs defining our thoughts and experiences of life. Indeed Gallup got the information right from the 2015 survey; those in possession of iPhones cannot imagine themselves not having their companion unique gargets. The reasons for the compact vicinity being the sundry of significances it offers including diversion and convenience it offers to the owners.

Research has indicated that the device has corrupted and weakened our intellect because of the perception and cognition we give it. Professor Adrian Ward from his study has found that one cannot concentrate on a job or any difficult situation when his/her smartphone ring. In fact, getting the sound of the phone impedes performance and reasoning, however. A journal of experimental Psychology study done in 2015 validates the effects of hearing the sound of the phone buzz or beep. The sound makes the owners get sloppier and have divided attention to work if checked or abandoned.

Similarly, another study done in 2015 on iPhones owners indicated that if a phone ring and the owners are in a position not to answer, the problem-solving capacity declines, impulses surges, and the blood pressure also increases. From the behavioral research done by Dr. Ward and three colleagues of his, two years ago on 520 undergraduate students, they tested on cognitive capacity availability and intellectual acuity. The only variable used being the location of the smartphone. One group had the phones on the desks they worked at, others to kept theirs in the pocket will the last group left the phones in the room. The study found that with the increase in the proximity of the phone, brain power decreased. Dr. Ward and his colleagues penned down in the Association for Consumer Research journal that smartphone integration in daily life leads to “brain drain.” This consequently reduces creativity, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and learning. The study was confirmed by the Journal of Social Psychology of South Main University done in 2014 by doing similar research.

The study done by Applied Cognitive Psychology, to examine the effects of smartphones on learning during lecturing in the Arkansas University, the students without phones scored better grades. While the students with phones regardless of whether they were using them or not scored poor grades. Another study done in the UK, published in Labor Economics journal, found out that when smartphones are banned in school, student’s academic performance surges substantially with the students who are weak benefiting highly.

When we keep the phones around us the relationship and Social skills also deteriorate. A study conducted at Essex University in the UK published their report in Social and Personal Relationship Journal in 2013. They indicated that the presence of phones inhibited trust and interpersonal closeness and reduced the individuals understanding and empathy on the partners. Tech Researchers of Virginia supported the study published on Environment and Behavior in 2016.

Other media and communicating devices like TV have also occupied our minds, but the phones have surpassed all of them since it is packed with numerous information forms and useful, entertaining functions. These packed entertaining and information Apps acts as a supernormal stimulus that hijacks our attention when they are in our vicinity. The quality of the smartphones is the irony that makes the phone to be much appealing. These appealing qualities include its portability, responsiveness, the multiplicity of apps and its constant connection to the network.

The knowledge and understanding of people plunge as smartphones give easy access to data stores online. In the 2011 seminal study published in Science, researcher’s team got volunteers to read briefs about “The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in 2003 in Texas.” The team was told to type the information in the computer. One slot was told that all the things they typed would remain permanently in the machine while the other group was told that everything they wrote would be erased. The group who believed that everything was going to be stored in the computer had a poor recall of the ideas than those whose information was to be erased. The reason behind the first group having a poor recall was that they knew they would find back the typed information.

Due to the availability of all information dubbed in Google and the phone capable of leading people to information, information offloading has gone up at the expense of technology. William James said in his lecture in 1892  that “The art of remembering is the art of thinking.” By coding information in our biological brains, we become rich in intellectual knowledge which helps us in conceptual and critical thinking. With the smartphones and other media platforms that make information to swirl around us, the less intellectual we become. Dr. Wegner and Dr. Ward in Scientific American Article of 2013 explain that due to the advent of technology people think that the information they find from the internet is their mental capacity. They argue that even the scholars who think of being adept than ever before may know very little in the world around them. The smartphones make us even take in rumors and lies peddled by heinous mindsets on the internet.

Data critic and novelist Cynthia Ozick urges us to make our memory to have history and not to allow smartphones to be our brains commandeer. She continues by claiming that gadget formatting is not helpful; thus, we should put our brains to the task of thinking which means giving our phones a distance. Indeed the smartphones have corrupted our intellectual capability, relationship, and social lives because we have granted them much attention. It is high time to regain our independent cognitive brain by setting aside the smartphones.

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