Friday column No. 79. Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

In yesterday's news digest from Pavel, I came across an interesting study that claimed that frequent use of smartphones can negatively affect mental functions and decided to discuss this statement in more detail.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

To be honest, this week I was planning to finally write about flashing HTC One M8, honestly sat down and started reading instructions from / XDA on this topic. However, the process was so long that I decided to postpone the description of the flashing until next week. The instructions contained a complete set (Root, S-OFF, bootloader unlock and other 'joys' of the geek). But today I propose to discuss an equally interesting topic.

To begin with, I will quote a piece of news from yesterday's digest of Paul:

For centuries, people have been looking for a way to shift their affairs to someone else. Pets, slaves, machinery and even nature itself. And as soon as they succeeded, they tried to get rid of the 'extra' function, replacing it with something else. Until now, it was mainly about physical labor, on which a person spent most of his time. In fact, computers were invented precisely for this purpose – to automate the production process, to reduce the amount of manual labor. But gradually computers took over another human 'function' – the need to think.

Why bother trying to get to the answer yourself when you just need to type a question into Google? Why be able to count when every smartphone has a calculator? Why teach dozens of subjects at school and institute, if in our enlightened age you can contact a specialist from almost anywhere in the world who is ready to advise in detail on the problem that has arisen? Why think at all when the answers appear even before the questions themselves arise?

This issue has been investigated by different specialists for several years now, and the results are not yet very comforting. And it's not only about the ability to make complex calculations in the mind, but also about much more global things – the ability to independently work with a large amount of information, draw conclusions based on available facts, and so on. Another thing is that they prefer to brush them off and ignore them with all their might.

An example is the results of a recent study by the University of Waterloo, which involved 660 people. Gordon Penitswick, co-author of the study and Ph.D., said of the study: “Our study demonstrates a link between heavy smartphone use and declining intelligence. Whether smartphones actually reduce intelligence is an important question that requires further research. '

Indeed, now most of the routine mental activities (complex mathematical calculations, formulas in Excel, etc.) are given to computers and people only need to direct the machines, and monitor the health of their work. However, many processes are still not optimized, so the role of a person is still important.

But let's speculate why the use of smartphones cannot lead to a deterioration in intelligence. A smartphone, or any other computer (and modern smartphones can be considered small computers) are just a tool. Just like a fork and a knife. They are all needed to perform certain tasks. And just like we use a fork / knife at lunch, we use our smartphone to find information and solve everyday problems. Let's look at the main scenarios for using a smartphone to understand which one can be harmful to intelligence.

Calls and chats. Here everything seems to me obvious, communication with friends and relatives by voice or through correspondence. If you have an adequate social circle, then this use case cannot hit your intellect.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Social networks. Ridiculous to say, but the most dangerous scenario for your brain. After all, depending on your subscriptions, you can pick up a lot of misconceptions in supposedly useful public pages.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Reading. For the most part, books do little harm. If it's a classic, it's even useful. If something from popular genres (yes, the same fantasy or good detective stories), then, at least harmless. But if we are talking about books of the 'intelligent fast food' format, then they can certainly be harmful if you read it often.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Watching video. Again, it all depends solely on the video you are watching. It's unlikely that a good TV series or feature-length film will have any effect on your intelligence.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Music. If there are questions with the video, then the influence of music, in my opinion, is only positive. We all choose the music that we like, evokes positive emotions (at worst, sadness when he wants to cheer). But it is unlikely that music can impair our ability to think, I often work to music, by the way.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Games. Most games are aimed either at attentiveness, or at reaction speed, or at solving a puzzle, all this rather stimulates our brain than relaxes it.

Friday column No. 79.  Do you get dumber from using your smartphone?

Actually, the example with the main use cases clearly shows that a smartphone is just a tool. Like any other instrument, it can play a different role in different hands. In the same way that a kitchen knife can be both a slicer and a killer's tool, the statement “kitchen knives die” would sound ridiculous to say the least. Of course, if you try, you can find loopholes in each of the scenarios I have described to prove that I am wrong, but even in them the key factor will be the person and how he uses the smartphone, and not the device itself.

Rate article
About smartphones.
Add a comment