You have to love a bit of research, hey readers?!
Apparently ‘new research’ (I’m not mocking honestly) claims that we’re dumber without our smartphones. I for one am not believing this!
It is not as if I use it for research, spelling, as a calculator, a SatNav and whispers it quietly – at the odd pub quiz. No, I barely use it! Okay, I confess I do of course use and thoroughly enjoy it to boot!
So maybe Researchers at the University of Missouri are correct, technology has invaded our lives. Could I live without my smartphone?
According to lead researcher, Russell Clayton, I would find it extremely traumatic to be parted from my smartphone, stating, “Our findings suggest that iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks.”
Clayton went on to say, “Additionally, the results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state.”
The tests included the researchers informing the subjects that they were testing a wireless blood pressure cuff, before making them solve word puzzles, which they had to attempt both with and without their faithful iPhones. The study covered 40 iPhone users.
Which raises a question from me – would Android users also suffer the same separation anxiety?
Similar to how we know that mobile phones can interfere with computer functionality etc., the researchers told a little white lie to get the subjects to surrender their phones. They were told their signal was interfering with the signal from the blood pressure cuff.
The cognitive function took a turn for the worse when the separation accord and went into hyperdrive when they called the subjects mobile, and they are not permitted to answer it.
Now I think we could all relate to this. The call could have been from a loved one and to not answer would seem bizarre. Yet the mere presence of a smartphone affected the subjects. When asked to perform a series of mental tasks those with their phone stowed away performed 20% more effective than those with a phone within sight.
However, for me any study of this nature throws up more questions.
For instance, is our dependency on smartphones and technology damaging? Yes, we go from one app to another app, very rarely pausing for too long, which would conclude that our powers of concentration are being eroded; right?
But surely the opposite can also be true? The ability to multitask is an asset we are told. And while life has become more complex, technology has indeed made complexity simpler than ever. Were we indeed ‘brighter’ prior to technology becoming so prevalent? Or indeed, do the parameters with which we measure how clever we are needs to change with the ever increasing advances in technology?
Either way, I never like to leave home without my smartphone, the clue is in the title!
Until next time…