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Although the world seems to be at the end of your fingertips when using a smart phone, is it really smarter to be dependent, attached, and somewhat addicted to technology? Is the ever-changing and ever improving technology always looking out for your best interest?

People within our society now are so submerged in technology that functioning without could cause them a heart attack. But, is this ease of information and ever-changing screen, flickering images really whats good for your mind? In recent studies some scientist have even compared technologies effect on the brain worse than climate change!

Through this constant need of ‘up to date information’ people have been focusing on Facebook relationships and twitter followers more and more. Not only are most people glued to their phone (especially college students walking to and from class…honk! Watch out for that car!) but they are placing more weight on social media relationships rather than real life relationships.

People have become so reliant on smart phones, or any device, that “helps” them through life. When is the last time you used your brain to go through a computation rather than use a calculator or your phone?

Read Time’s article, How to use Technology to make you Smarter.

Neuroscientist Gary Small, who, as author of “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind,” says there is indirect evidence that shows that ever-changing screen and flashes has great effects on our adapting human brains.

In 2005 Professor Gloria Mark of the University of California at Irvine saw that on average information workers switched tasks three times a minute.

This multi-tasking is common in frequent technology users and has been seen to cause high stress levels which correlates directly with short-term memory which often leads to more mistakes. Through technology’s constant changing and ‘the world at your fingertips’ mentality distraction is always knocking.

Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield states her fear of constant multi-tasking and hyper-connectedness is encouraging and re-wiring the brain to understand instant gratification and decline senses of empathy.

In recent studies, many have found that by removing the constant nagging of technologies such as email and social media over time people were able to focus more clearly, have lower stress levels, and were multi-tasking at a much lower rate.

So, have you ever unplugged? What is the difference of this society wired and unwired? College students are famous at being highly distracted when it comes to trying to focus. Students start to write a paper but end up writing two emails, tweeting, and posting pictures to Facebook.

Watch this quick clip on how Facebook affects your brain (British accents, always interesting to listen to!)

All that information came from somewhere, so instead of grabbing your laptop, smart phone, or whatever means of technology to research or understand just grab a book and try not to multi-task or get distracted. In turn, it might lead you to a less stressful and happier life!

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One thought on “Are you smarter than your smart phone?

  1. This is one of my absolute favorite topics within the study of communication technology. The ability to disconnect from technology or to think, work, and function without technology. I don’t mind leaving my phone behind while I go out to dinner, turning it off while on vacation, keeping it in my bag while at work, etc. and yet somehow I can still relate to the high stress levels caused by constant connectivity. I don’t use my phone for activities other than basic functions (texting and calling) very often but the little that I do is overwhelming! I don’t understand how some of my friends are constantly on their phone looking at instagram, then they have to go to Facebook to post the picture they just posted on instagram, then they check their twitter, maybe snap chat a few people, and end up spending an hour at the least navigating their social media profiles on their phone.

    It is amazing to me how many people would not know how to search for directions, find a definition, or log onto their bank account without using their phone to do so, much less using a lap top, and I have little faith they could do it without technology at all.

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