How smartphones affect the brain

How smartphones affect the brain

We live with telephones in hand – not in figurative meaning, but in the most ordinary. Constant alerts, calls, emails, which, of course, can not wait, and social networks that can make the road to work a little more enjoyable. Access to any information at any time and almost anywhere – it’s incredible and wonderful. Another question is what our body thinks about this. And he thinks that we all need to stop.

Cortisol and stress reload

Scientists have found out that alerts, being some kind of alarm signals, push our stress hormones to action. The heart rhythm becomes rapid, the breathing becomes confused, the sweat glands start to work faster, and some of the muscles contract in the same way as in the gym. Such an organism response is quite evolutionary and very correct. The only problem is that it should arise when we try to avoid danger, and not when someone in the chat room wants to know which of the two dresses is better.

According to research, writes Business Insider, about 89% of students are faced with phantom vibrations of the phone – the so-called phenomenon when a person seems to have just received an alert, while in reality, nothing like this happened. In another study, 86% of US adults reported that they constantly check for messages on e-mail and on social networks, because they can not feel good without it.

Endocrinologist Robert Lustig expressed that the notifications are gradually training our brain to be in a permanent stressful state. This state means that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that deals with cognitive functions of the highest order, starts to work more slowly.

Multitasking, which does not exist

Scientists have known for many years that people stubbornly refuse to recognize: a person can not exist in conditions of multitasking. And this, alas, is true for 97.5% of the world’s population – that is, for most of us. The remaining 2.5% is really able to cope with several tasks at the same time, but this should be taken as an exception, but not as a norm.

So when we are distracted from something to respond to a message, we interrupt the main action and pay for it a certain price. Psychologist David Meyer (David Meyer), who studied this effect, notes that a constant switching between tasks can take up to 40% of the productivity of our brain. Plus, every time we change the task, we increase the level of cortisol in our bodies with our own hands.

The desire to transfer part of its load to the digital assistant, it is a question of work tasks or personal problems, seems quite logical. But do not rush to shift everything you can to the smartphone. Scientists explain that delegation of powers to electronic devices certainly unloads our brain, but at the same time makes it extremely lazy.

In one of the case studies, for example, it was found that more intelligent people are usually less active in social networks and instant messengers. And if you recall the story of a lazy brain, you can understand why this is happening. Also, scientists found that there is a direct relationship between the analytical mindset and the reluctance to spend a lot of time on social networks.

Despite these alarming conclusions, no one claims that smartphones are automatically destructive. However, the researchers confirm that some of their uses seem particularly harmful. So, experts advise to stop using gadgets before bed, check mail only at certain times in the morning and in the evening, turn off notifications when you need to concentrate (or always, if possible) and necessarily arrange for yourself “unloading days” without a phone. Then, the scientific community believes, your mental health and your brain will be completely safe.

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