Dumbing Down with Smartphones

smartphoneIf you suspected the irony of a smartphone being called a smartphone, you’re not alone. The device that promised to change your world does so by creating an addiction, and hence, dependence on it. In fact, it may do its job too well. Researchers at the University of Waterloo studied the influence that a smartphone may have on your thinking. The results may surprise you.

Smartphones and Intelligence

The researchers found that an association between using a smartphone for simple tasks and lowering intelligence. The effects are more pronounced in intuitive thinkers who rely on their gut instincts. It seems as if some take the concept of a personal assistant in the smartphone to the extreme.

They explained that it fuels a mental laziness that prevents some for thinking for themselves. The researchers specifically identified tasks such as doing searches for information as having the main effect. They didn’t find a significant link with either social media use or entertainment (read: stupid human trick videos).

The findings make sense. Think about it. Do you know the phone numbers of your family or friends? How often do you use a smartphone for simple math problems like conversions or tips? The allure and convenience of technology apparently comes at a price.

Use It or Lose It

Your brain is like the rest of your body. Use it or lose it. Your smartphone may not always be there to bail you out. Batteries die. Phones die. And a good connection is sometimes fleeting or non-existent. It pays to do some tasks the old fashioned way.

Don’t get me wrong; smartphones are great things. I’m rarely without mine. It’s important to understand that the power of smartphones extends beyond a DuckDuckGo search for good chicken recipes. Remember that smartphones can increase your stress level by being too connected to work or keeping you up too late at night playing Frontiers.

The takeaway is this: use your smartphone, but unplug now and again to stay in touch with your intelligence and reality. Take time to enjoy the signs of spring showing up now.

http://mystery.weborglodge.com/By Chris DR

photo credit: Nokia-E75 via photopin (license)