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[Living Green] Safety Column #6 What smartphones are doing to the brain

by Eco Generation | 03-07-2020 08:58 Comments 6 recommendations 0

What smartphones are doing to the brain


By Science Columnist Ho-Gwan Ko


Let’s be honest here. How much time do you spend on your smartphone a day? Or, how much time do you spend on the Internet? Even I, asking this question to you, spend most of my day using my computer or smartphone. It is true that they make my life easier, but sometimes I feel like I become stupid. For example, when I did not have a cell phone, I used to know dozens of phone numbers by heart, but now I do not remember any except for a few such as my family members’.

Does this mean that I am just living a convenient life and it has nothing to do with intelligence? I wish it did, but research shows that the intelligence of humanity is falling. Apparently, young people's intelligence has declined in several Western countries, including Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom since the late 1990s. Are people really becoming more stupid?

If it is true, one of the causes would be digital devices such as the Internet and smartphones. Many scientists are claiming so. A lot of digital content and search features are decreasing people's intelligence. In fact, a number of people simply search on their smartphones when they need to recollect some information, rather than trying to find the answer on their own. Our brain is getting lazier, just like we do not try to memorize phone numbers anymore. Like a muscle, the brain degenerates if it is not used.

This phenomenon is often called digital dementia. It means that the abilities of our brain deteriorate as a result of depending on digital devices just like dementia. It is not a real disease; the mind is healthy, but the memory gets weaker. If you have neglected reading, which helps develop thinking skills, by focusing on stimulating multimedia content, you may lose your reading ability.


What smartphones are doing to the brain

▲ Are you spending too much time looking at your smartphone?

Spending less time with others while spending more time on the Internet can also have a negative effect on your brain. Meeting different people and building relationships activate the brain, which is not possible with social networking services. Your brain could degenerate, if you are only online.
Some say that multitasking is a problem. Multitasking is a human ability to perform more than one task at the same time. We surf the web with a gaming channel turned on YouTube and chat with friends on a smartphone, right?

Such behaviors can put a strain on the brain. Doing several things at the same time does not work well because the brain is overworking. In the meantime, we often forget what we have been doing.

Even if you do not become stupid, using a digital device for too long can cause many problems. A lot of people get anxious when they leave their smartphones at home or have developed a habit of looking at their smartphones frequently for no reason. As a result, they become neglectful of what they actually need to do, which affects their life negatively.

You may end up lacking in exercise by focusing too much on the Internet, or you may end up having “text neck” because of the habit of looking down at the screen. Watching a small screen for a long time is also not good for your eyes. Looking at your smartphone in bed may lead to sleep deprivation, which can disrupt your next day’s performance and harm your health. Some people even look at their smartphones while walking or driving, which is a very dangerous behavior that can cause fatal accidents.

Of course, in modern society, it is impossible not to use the Internet or a smartphone. However, it is not good to be too immersed in anything; you should be able to control yourself. Why not set a time frame to use your smartphone? If it sounds too hard, you can start by leaving your smartphone alone at least one or two hours a day to do other activities like reading or exercising. For example, you can make up your mind not to use it an hour before you go to bed for a good night's sleep. It won't be easy, but it will help you build the willpower not to depend too much on your smartphone.


Alan Portocarrero

  • Alan Portocarrero says :
    OMG, I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for sharing this info, it was helpful for me.
    Posted 01-08-2020 00:59

Houra Yousefi

  • Houra Yousefi says :
    a very useful article, looking forward to see changes in myself and becoming more productive.
    Posted 25-07-2020 12:44

NsikakAbasi Etim Jnr

  • NsikakAbasi Etim Jnr says :
    Very nice article. Indeed we should reduce the amount of time spent on mobile devices
    Posted 19-07-2020 00:16

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    we have been very influenced by smartphones these days and with their increasing use it is likely increase impacts on us too. Thanks for bringing this amazing article.
    Posted 17-07-2020 16:16

Kamakshi  Bali

  • Kamakshi Bali says :
    Thanks for bringing this topic to light
    Posted 17-07-2020 02:40

Juvairiyah Batool

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