I have been a smartphone user since they were created. Quite frankly, it is a smartphone addiction.

Everywhere you go or whatever you do, you run into hundreds of people around you that are glued to the screens of their smartphones. It’s a sort of smartphone addiction epidemic. We miss out on so much of the world and many of its opportunities because of such a small device.

Whether you like to believe it or not, your cell phone is tremendously affecting your focusing abilities.

There have been many times where I had no reason to check my phone and I would do so regardless. I find it hard to even pay attention completely to half the things I do because half my focus is curious about whether I am missing out on something on my phone.

Cell phones sometimes even affect the quality of my work.

I also remember at one point of time in my life where I used to have to remember phone numbers, addresses, or manage my schedule without the use of a cell phone. Since then, I have lost a lot of values that formed my independence.

Can you survive a week without your cell phone? Can you survive a day?

Here are a few basic facts about cell phones:

  1. Around 78% of teenagers have a cell phone and half of those phones are smartphones.
  2. Surveys show that we take our phones just about anywhere we go. On Average, 12% of Americans have used their phone in the shower, and 86% of teenagers who own a phone sleep with it right next to them.
  3. Younger humans send on average 2,022 texts a month. That is estimated around  67 texts per day. That is without many social networks such as Snapchat, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

The 2 Experiments on Smartphone Addiction

520 people were given directions to place their cell phone face down on their desk on silent or in another room, or somewhere out of reach. Then they were asked to perform a numerous amount of cognitive tests. These tests were designed to measure available cognitive capacity. It was said that the people who left their cell phones behind severely outperformed their counterparts.

The results verified that the presence of their own devices impaired the performance of these individuals on a task that is sensitive to the availability of a limited amount of attentional resources.

The next experiment involved 275 individuals who were told to put their phones on silent or completely shut them off. They were also told to place their phones face down on their desk, pocket, another room or simply out of reach.

In this experiment, the individuals were asked to complete a series of tasks and were asked to complete these questions which measured the extent to which they became dependent on their phone.

The results showed that the people who relied heavily on their phones performed worse on the test, but only when their devices were in their pocket, on their desk, or in a bag. There were no differences if any phones were left on or off, or face up or down.

People who have smartphone addiction or just tend to rely heavily on their phones seem to suffer from being present. Although we may have unlimited information in the palms of our hand, it may come at a cost of our cognitive functions.

References:

  1. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/691462
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com
  3. http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2013/PIP_TeensandTechnology2013.pdf

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