A lot of parents are interested in whether smartphones make their children dumber. Some of them have long formulated an answer to this question, relying solely on their own attitude and attributing poor performance at school or university to electronics. Another part, watching how children and adolescents spend long periods with their devices, are completely unprepared to admit the harm of electronics, but they regularly hear about it and from time to time begin to doubt. That is why one of the most common queries on Google is: 'Do smartphones make people dumber?' But this is not the only problem, I tell you this from my own experience.
I learned that I was addicted to a smartphone by accident, but I learned how to deal with it
Let's start right away with the fact that scientists have not been able to prove whether smartphones do irreparable damage to the brains of children, adults or the elderly. Despite the fact that some researchers try to prove that this is so, others – obviously against them – prove the exact opposite. But neither one nor the other can be considered right or wrong, and this is because they did not have a sufficiently relevant sample. Some researchers only adults, others watched the experimental for six months or a year, which is clearly not enough, and still others attracted too few people to the experiment so that the result obtained could be generalized.
Do smartphones really make us dumber?
A smartphone is unlikely to make you dumber than you really are, but that doesn't mean it's harmless.
For example, scientists at the University of Heidelberg conducted a study and found that smartphone addiction can cause physical changes in the human brain. But the total number of subjects in their experiment was 48, and the diagnosis made by the scientists was confirmed only in 22 of them. The cherry on the cake in this study was the fact that all test subjects were already suffering from either mental retardation or senile dementia. That is, this sample certainly cannot be considered relevant, because the overwhelming majority of people do not suffer from such disorders.
But there is harm of a completely different nature. Of course, I'm talking about the time that smartphones take from us. For a long time, like everyone else, I used all kinds of social networks like 'VKontakte', read all the news in a row, went to Instagram several times an hour and flipped through all the stories, and then the feed. In short, he behaved like an ordinary millennial. But I had no idea how much time all this takes from me. But one day I learned that Mikhail Korolev, founder of Android Insider.ru, removed all these distraction programs from his smartphones, practically stopped watching YouTube and blocked notifications. According to him, this changed his life for the better, he had more time for sports and family, and he himself began to feel freer.
How to know if you are addicted to your smartphone
I have never considered myself addicted to a smartphone. But, nevertheless, he decided to try to do the same as Misha. If he's wrong, I thought, it shouldn't be difficult for me to put everything back. Therefore, without thinking twice, I deleted Instagtam, TikTok, Twitter from my smartphone, in which I also constantly stuck, YouTube, so that there was no way to watch a fresh video somewhere in the queue or on a trip. But, most importantly, I unsubscribed from almost all Telegram channels that write about politics, the economic situation in the country and much more. Firstly, it often caused me genuine disappointment and even anger, and, secondly, it simply took a lot of time.
The first day after removal was great. Well, I thought, there is no dependence, and I can perfectly do without all this nonsense. As a result, I finished my work a couple of hours faster than usual, cooked dinner and read a book that had been left unread for a long time.
You've probably seen these people: they constantly stare at their smartphones, even when they are walking down the street. I didn't want to be like that
However, on the second day, something changed. Probably 3-4 times I caught myself thinking that I was stupidly reaching for the smartphone, unblocking it, looking with my eyes Instagram, I couldn't find it and, blocking the smartphone, I put it back on the desktop. I thought it would pass, but more than two weeks have passed since I gave up entertainment apps, and I just started to get used to this scenario. It's a shame to admit, but a couple of times instead of Instagram I leafed through my own photos – apparently, simply because I needed to keep myself busy.
What happens if you abandon Instagram and TikTok
What changed? Of course, changes have taken place, and they cannot but rejoice.
- First, I had more time to do my work;
- Secondly, which undoubtedly pleased me, I stopped staring at my smartphone in transport, and learned to look at what was happening outside the window;
- Thirdly, I was able to return to reading books that I almost forgot, because all the time I was staring either at Instagram or at TikTok.
Are there any negative changes? Maybe yes. Now I don’t know what “NEZYGAR” writes, I don’t look through the mailing lists with discounts on things for half an hour and I don’t read any trash written by Mash and Baza. Probably, because of this, an internal politician and a hypebeast began to die in me, who strove to buy all the sneakers, seeing a discount of 50% or more. In general, as you can see, there are no downsides. Another thing is that I still cannot say that I have become completely independent. Of course, now I'm no longer going crazy on social networks, but doing more or less useful things, but YouTube, which I have not deleted, spoils my personal statistics a little. Therefore, I will try to get rid of it and, if possible, I will write about it here. The main thing is not to switch off.