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Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?

06/29/17

Image © Pixabay via Psychology Today

Cognitive capacity and overall brain power are significantly reduced when your smartphone is within glancing distance—even if it’s turned off and face down—according to a recent study, reports Christopher Begland for Psychology Today.

"UT Austin researchers found that someone’s ability to hold and process data significantly improved if his or her smartphone was in another room while taking a test to gauge attentional control and cognitive processes. Participants who kept their phones in a pocket or bag also outperformed those who kept their phones on the desk while taking the same test. Again, even if the phone was turned off and face down on the desk, the mere sight of one's own smartphone seemed to induce “brain drain” by depleting finite cognitive resources."

We're probably all guilty of this in some way. The best way to combat mindlessness? Mindfulness. A fuller awareness of where your phone comes from, and where it goes when you're done with it, may signficantly increase your mindfulness of how you use it.

Or, just put the bloody thing away for a while.

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