Is Your Smart Phone Is Making You Stupid?

Smart phones are changing the way we think but are not making us smarter. Despite the high hopes that existed for a device which would qualify as a hand-held super computer a generation ago, there is plenty of evidence that smart phones may have a negative impact on our lives by exposing you to dangerous EMFs. There are also growing concerns about how they impact children and the toll they take on our emotional health. 

Globe and Mail examined why the smartphone has not lived up to the hype. What they found is that most people do not use their smartphone as a conduit to an ever-expanding web of information but as a slot machine that rewards them with text messages and games. And like a slot machine, these devices have proven to be extremely addictive. 

Consider for a moment the impact that the smartphone has had on social interactions. You’ve seen it many times: A family taking their seats in a restaurant, then one by one pulling out their individual cellphones to examine until the food comes, after which they check their phones repeatedly as they’re eating. 

Unlike the Golden Age of Radio, when families gathered for a shared experience, the content on smart phones is often sharply individualized. And when compared to the nonstop blur and drone of the television, which just a few generations ago caused quite a stir in its own right, the glowing smartphone screen is portable and can be brought everywhere. 

On average, people check their smartphones 150 times a day, or every six minutes, 46 percent say they couldn’t live without them, and many prefer texting over real-life conversations. It’s important to know when it’s time to put down your smartphone and connect with the living, breathing people in your life, some whom you know and some whom you don’t — yet — but whom you’d never meet if you didn’t look up. 

Here is a three-step plan to help wean yourself from phone dependence:

  • Figure out how much time you realistically need on your phone for things like work, navigation or letting people know you’re OK, and how much you use it for pure entertainment and distraction.
  • Rather than going off your phone cold turkey, determine times when you restrict your phone use and refuse to let it interrupt you, such as mealtime and spending time with family and friends.
  • Determine what’s really important to you, what “nourishes” you, and dedicate more thought, time and energy to those things. In short, live more intentionally and consciously, not dictated by the ring tone of your phone.

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