How the Presence of Your Phone Affects You


Some teenagers have an obsession with their phones.

Abigail Woolard, Staff Writer

Phones are used in our everyday lives; we take them everywhere with us. Now there is a new belief that having your phone with you can actually decrease your brain function!

We all know that our phones rarely leave our sides. We take them to school, work, home, and even to restaurants. We are always in the presence of a phone even if it’s not ours. Researchers at the University of Texas conducted a study showing how your brain functions while you’re in contact with your smartphone.  Almost 800 hundred smartphone users were involved in this experiment. The experiment measured how well people can complete tasks while having their smartphone nearby even while not using it. In one of the experiments, the participants were asked to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that needed their full concentration in order to do well. The test measured their brains’ ability to hold and process data. Participants were asked to put their smartphones face down on their desks, in their bag, in their pocket, or in another room. They all had their phones on silent.

The results of the study show that the participants who placed their phones in another room did slightly better than those with their phones on the desk. They also did better than the people who had their phones in a bag or pocket. These findings suggest that just the presence of your smartphone can reduce your ability to focus. You can see a trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, the subjects’ available cognitive capacity decreases. This is because although your conscious mind isn’t actually focused on your phone, it is still using up space and energy not to think about it, which leads to using up some of your cognitive resources. According to UT Assistant Professor Adrian Ward,” “It’s just a brain drain.” 

In conclusion, it seems that you will function better mentally without having contact with your phone.