Sunday, July 01, 2018 by David Williams
Millions of people from all over the world are addicted to using their smartphones. Now experts are saying that it’s high time this addiction got reined in before things get even worse. Because with the way things are, smartphone use is slowly but surely making all kinds of people suffer the negative consequences, including shorter attention spans, less attentiveness to friends and family, and lower IQ.
This is according to a recent piece filed under Digital Distraction from The Globe and Mail titled, “Your smartphone is making you stupid and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down!?” It lays out in worrying detail the kinds of things that are quietly unraveling in relation to the world’s addiction to smartphone use, and what the foremost experts in the field of computing, social media, and the Internet are doing to fix the problem.
The problem with smartphone addiction has now become so bad, in fact, that some of the people who primarily helped to propel it into the kind of device that it is today are calling for major changes to the way they are used. Basically, the very people who built the smartphone into the institution that it is today are the same ones calling for its destruction.
There used to be a time when the worst thing that your phone could do to you was give you eye strain, or perhaps carpal tunnel syndrome from all the typing that you needed to do. Now, the situation with smartphones is so different that those earlier problems look like minor allergies compared to potentially fatal diseases. And there’s a high probability that things are going to get much worse before they get better.
According to Sean Parker, former president of Facebook, the world’s biggest social media platform is addictive by design. It was literally made to hook users with spurts of dopamine, according to Parker, which conditions the brain to react as if you are earning some kind of reward or fresh new knowledge on every use. Parker also said that in building Facebook, they knowingly exploited a known vulnerability in human psychology. “[We] understood this, consciously, and we did it anyway,” he said.
These days, it’s widely accepted that using social media sites like Facebook can result in loss of concentration. And now, there have also been studies showing that smartphone use can also lead to a loss in several IQ points. One study in particular, which looked at workers at a British company who dealt with a multitude of electronic media and therefore needed to multitask, found that people were losing about the same amount of IQ points as people who lost one night’s sleep.All of this only adds more evidence to support the idea that smartphone use generally makes people more stupid, and that it’s a serious problem that should be treated more seriously on all fronts.
On the other hand, there are those who believe the benefits of using smartphones far outweigh all of the negatives. For instance, some argue, smartphones make it possible for people to stay connected with their friends and family. It also makes kids more socially connected and less isolated, and people are generally less dependent on the unpredictable turbulence of the nuclear family, all thanks to their smartphones, says on proponent.
In any case, there are currently millions upon millions of dollars being funneled into further development of smartphone technology. Even as more and more people recognize the dangers of using them and start to use them less every day, the companies who make money from the continued use of smartphones probably won’t take it sitting down. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to individuals to make the changes needed.
Read more about advances in mobile computing tech in Computing.news.