By Daryl Lindsey.
Ever had your phone die, but still look at it out of habit? Ever leave your phone at home and feel positively naked all day?
Well, you’re not alone: Smartphone addiction is a growing epidemic , and constantly checking our phones has real consequences on our brains.
Smartphones and other digital tech might not be a “drug,” but scientists say that doesn’t mean they’re not addictive.
“Any entity that can produce a pleasurable sensation has the potential of becoming addictive,” wrote James Roberts, author of The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students.
And when we continually use something that makes certain tasks easier, the paper reads, it can make our brains significantly lazier.
Think about it: Do you do basic math in your head these days, or do you use your phone’s calculator? Do you know the phone numbers of your friends, your family? Most smartphone users don’t.
“One thing the smartphone might do is make it easier for us to not exercise our brain,” Pennycook said. “It doesn’t mean that we’re making the car faster or slower, it just means we’re not using it to the maximal capacity.”
No one wants a lazy brain. Try sticking your phone in a drawer while you’re at work, and aim for a few hours of screen-free time at night. Your mind will definitely thank you.