Smartphones are important tools because they prolong life or extend it in a certain way. Just like the Gollum ring (“The Lord of the Ring”) smartphones twist our body and mind.
The actual scientific experiment was conducted at the Universities of Virginia and Harvard. The course of the experiment goes like this: “in a cold and semi-dark small room, the light reaches a little through a small window. The room has a table and a wooden chair. They call the person and push her to sit in a chair. The person is alone in the room. He doesn’t have a smartphone, he doesn’t have a computer, he doesn’t have a TV, he doesn’t have a book or some literature, that is, there is nothing that would save him from loneliness and isolation. A person is allowed to sit in a room and be allowed to think. The person leading the experiment enters and puts current wires on the “experimental man”.
Then he goes out and closes the door. The test subject’s skin is itchy. Stomach cramps. If the experimental man cannot endure the emptiness he can shorten the torment on his own with a mild electric shock that is not lethal. It will only break the painful silence in the room. “Although this story sounds like the beginning of a cruel horror film for millennials, it is still just an experiment performed at American universities. The brave volunteers here had 15 minutes to spend in the small room and think. The volunteers experienced this shock on their own skin before entering the room. Most volunteers described the shock as a stimulus they would not like to feel again. Statistics from this experiment further say that two-thirds of men and one-quarter of women did a mild electric shock to their body. Some volunteers repeated the electric shock several times. One man actually fired a finger at a red button 190 times in just 15 minutes. This twisted experiment from reputable universities says and describes how much people are calibrated on stimulants and how great the human need for stimulants is. If it’s not “ping” that announces a new post on Instagram, or “pong” that says that there is new news on Pinterest, then a small (harmless) dose of electricity comes in handy.
Sometimes money is not important to children. American scientist Peter Levine is a doctor of psychology and medical biophysics.
Dr. Levine explains that there is another ingenious American experiment. In that experiment, they promised young Americans five dollars for every five minutes in which they would not reach for a smartphone. That’s a total of $ 60 for one full hour of the experiment. The children did not last five minutes. Or money is not important to children and is not more important than smartphones. Recent studies say people touch smartphones 2617 times a day. Probably people want to have a smartphone at hand or in the extension of the hand so that is the reason for so many touching phones. The study says millennials use a smartphone 150 times a day while other people use smartphones 85 times a day on a daily basis. What drives people to do this certainly resembles addiction. Then neural circuits ignite in the human brain. When people look at the screens of their smartphones then the neurotransmitter dopamine (which the human brain produces when people reach some goal in life) is released. Examples are from life: when we get a job, when we finish a project or when we finish school. The brain is not picky. The brain releases a neurotransmitter also under the influence of most drugs and often causes a feeling of euphoria. With drugs we know what feeling is coming. After one drug, the human body searches for more drugs. It’s the same with virtual information. Too much use leads to a loss of feeling with the real world. For example, we do not look at road signs because we have navigation. People rarely look out the window of their home to see what the weather is like outside because they have an app on their smartphones. Although the safest are “healthy eyes” and “using your own brain”. Research from the American State University in Ohio shows that traffic accidents have doubled since 2005 due to distraction and excessive use of smartphones. This is the younger generation of people (under 30 years of age).
Statistics say that the ability to direct attention and self-control weakens in millennials due to frequent phone use. Today, we see smartphones as an extension of people. Scientists from the American University of Missouri 2015 found that more than half of the respondents lose their sense of identity if they do not even have a smartphone for a short time. After about ten minutes of separation from smartphones, respondents experience strong anxiety. The North American Radiological Society believes that 46% of Americans cannot live without smartphones. This condition is called “nomophobia” (No mobile phone phobia). As many as 90% of respondents have experienced “phantom vibration syndrome” at least once in their life, which is the feeling of the phone vibrating in your pocket, even when your mobile phone is not in your pocket. This shows that in general people change at the deepest level. Yet a smartphone or panel made of glass and aluminum makes human life at least 1000 times easier. The information is available to us at the touch of a finger. We think less and develop less problem-solving skills. The problem arises when people have real multi-layered life problems. Then, based on their own experience and assessment, they should make crucial decisions. In order for people to make decisions they need to focus on what will bring them a solution to that problem.
Millennials lose that attention the most because they can keep their attention on one content for a maximum of 6 minutes. Therefore, productivity is reduced by 40%. The older generations were not spared by this effect either. Even when you don’t look at your cell phone for signals of some delicious virtual offer but hear the sound of the offer, and then productivity drops. The sound provoked thoughts that distract from a current task (activity) and slow people down in solving problems. So the presence of a cell phone reduces cognitive abilities. At a business school in Texas, scientists conducted an experiment with 800 respondents / smartphone users. They measured how well respondents could solve cognitive tasks in the presence of a smartphone. The cell phones were muted and the screen invisible. The researchers asked the respondents to solve tasks that require full concentration at the computer. To achieve high accuracy. Before the start of the experiment, the respondents were randomly told to turn the screen of their mobile phone down and leave it on the table or in their pocket / bag or leave it in another room.
People who were told by researchers to leave their cell phones in another room were much better and more successful at solving assigned tasks. They had better results than the people holding the cell phone on the table even though the screen was facing down. They were better than respondents who kept a cell phone in a bag or pocket. This showed that the closer a person’s cell phone is to their field of vision, the less their cognitive abilities decrease. Although our conscious mind does not think about the smartphone, energy-consuming processes take place in the background, say researchers from a business school in Texas. The human brain needs to engage cognitive capacities to control us even on an unconscious level. It takes away the power of the mind for the tasks that people need to perform.
The solution to this problem can be as follows: Most of the various applications (which restrict the use of a mobile phone or some of its functions)) on a smartphone are very easily bypassed. This way people will not feel the direct cumulative consequences of excessive smartphone use. Design your own methods, for example you can tie a smartphone tightly with an ordinary rubber band. You will then need two hands and a little effort to use. While this problem seems like an unsolvable puzzle there will come a time when people will need to deal a little more with solving this problem. At least for some new generations to come. We can start by learning how to separate waste (things and virtual) from useful material.
Today, smartphones have been proven to be worse for the mind but great for the human heart. Smartphones help the emotional intelligence of people (millennials) and strengthen interpersonal relationships. It is known that millennials hardly maintain interpersonal relationships in the real world. Their relationship takes place in the virtual world. The data say that millennials almost never use smartphones to talk to other people but to use applications for written and pictorial communication. Research says this does not prevent millennials from communicating very effectively with each other. Millennials are very honest and unrestrained in this communication. Then they express and show their emotions. Emoticons help with that. Thus, they themselves assessed that smartphones strengthen and strengthen their communications and interpersonal relationships. As expected, the generation of “boomers” stated in this research that smartphones have a bad effect on their relationships with other people and close family. A famous saying goes, “Every time — carries its own burden.” Yet a smartphone is an extremely useful tool that people just need to know how to use properly or slowly learn how to use it most properly and most usefully. Adapt your smartphone to yourself and your needs and don’t let yourself be enslaved to your phone. And this is a topic for cognitive thinking.