Cellular devices have come a long way over the last fifty years, including changing how you think.
The mobile phone has become ubiquitous in our society, and their use has gone well beyond simply talking to someone who isn’t physically present. These devices are used for a broad spectrum of purposes, to the point that they are altering the way we think of accomplishing tasks throughout our typical days.
That said, many are starting to wonder if these devices are actually changing our brains.
Many of us spend far too much time on our mobile phone, and while we are aware of that problem – and often have negative emotions associated with it – we still do it. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to feel anxiety from having to be away from these gadgets, even for a short period of time. We’ve come to rely on them to complete so many tasks during the day that being apart from them can cause stress.
In fact, talking to someone on a call is rarely the most common use of this device anymore. We send messages, scroll through social media, read articles, watch videos, pay bills, listen to music, look up information, shop, and complete a seemingly never-ending list of other activities on these devices.
When many of us want to accomplish a task, often that involves looking to a mobile phone.
The question has arrived at the point that it’s not whether the usage has altered the way we think – as it certainly has – but is instead how much of an impact it has had on changing our brains.
After all, if you want to do a quick calculation, if you want to communicate with someone, if you wan to remember a certain piece of information, if you want directions to a location, or even if you need a bit of extra light, the solution all comes from a single mobile phone.
The average adult in the United States will check their mobile phone 344 times per day – once every four minutes. Nearly three hours per day in total is spent on that screen. What all this time is doing to our minds has yet to be measured.
Instead of being forced to memorize something and recall it, we can always look it up. Instead of building and using a sense of direction, including careful observation of our surroundings, we can look up the answer. When we want to reach out to someone, instead of seeing them in person, we can see them in text, emoji, image and video format. Endless scrolling and repetitive games are always available at our fingertips.
The mobile phone is certainly altering our minds, but research is only just getting started to define how, whether this change is positive, negative, or essentially neutral, and what should be done about it if the impact proves to be an unwanted one.