Ah, but we LOVE our darn phones so much!
Unquestionably, smartphones are beloved extensions of our fingertips.
We simply cannot go anywhere or do anything without them.
Of course, they provide infinite conveniences, boost productivity and provide endless entertainment.
But, we also know they are addictive and any addiction by definition is harmful to your health, including your brain health.
How much time do you spend on your phone daily?
Seriously, have you really thought about it?
And how do you generally feel – anxious, scattered, overwhelmed, burned out, maybe even depressed about life? Do you feel like you’re on autopilot 24/7, almost robot-like? Hmmm. I know I do at times. Just pause and tally up how much time you’ve been spending each day on your phone and see how you really feel about it.
Ok, so where's the proof that my smartphone is making me dumb?
To start with, smartphones make us lazy. That’s the precursor to becoming dumb. I know, no one wants to hear that.
But factually speaking, we definitely don’t need to use our brains like we did before (at least those of us who are old enough remember memorizing phone numbers and doing basic mathematical calculations in our head).
If you don’t use it, you lose it, as the saying goes and this applies to your brain’s neuroplasticity.
Secondly, we’ve developed shorter attention spans.
On average, we click on to the next site within 8-10 seconds of scanning something. I do it, and you know you do it too.
Do you feel like you need information NOW? And, if it’s not received instantly, does your anxiety begins to build? Well, you’re not alone.
And, it’s that constant feeling of anxiousness and being on edge that wears your mind and body down over time. Eventually, this leads to burn out, physical health problems and a very dull, low functioning brain.
Moreover, when our mental faculties decline, we make poor decisions. In fact, we are less able to think critically or objectively for our best interests. Over time, we can become less content, apathetic and even depressed, angry and disgruntled. Just pause and reflect for a moment if this sounds like you.
5 ways your smartphone is making you dumb
So, here are five ways our smartphones are actually making us dumb. And I would add probably dumber than past generations that did not have technology at their fingertips:
Social media apps.
How much time do you spend (i.e. waste) on them posting, reposting, sharing, getting likes and arguing with complete strangers online? Does spending time on these apps deplete your energy? Does it raise your blood pressure and cause you angst? Or maybe some days you feel like your head is going to explode.
With information, disinformation and misinformation being thrown at us 24/7, our brains have become oversaturated. As a result, we are unable to think clearly, rationally or critically.
Over time, your brain becomes numb, desensitized and apathy sets in. All of the noise called “information” begins to blur together. Eventually, you begin to lose your ability to discern what’s relevant or true.
Constant push notifications.
They keep you on edge in a perpetual state of hyper vigilance and addiction which fuels anxiety, mental stress and physical stress (think: my darn headaches!)
Every time your phone pings, you’re automatically distracted from whatever you were doing. Without a doubt, you probably already know that your productivity is impacted. That is, your ability to concentrate on a single task declines. One study indicated the average American receives up to 80 push notifications daily; this number is probably actually higher for younger people who tend to have more apps.
Addiction to your smartphone is very real. In fact, it’s like being addicted to crack or any harmful substance and withdrawal symptoms are just as real. Any addiction is fundamentally toxic and damaging to brain health.
Overreliance on apps.
Did you know that apps like Google maps, fitness trackers, even calculators have dulled our ability to think the old-fashioned way?
Basically, we’ve stopped exercising our mental faculties for everyday tasks.
If you’re middle-aged like me, you probably have noticed that young cashier who couldn’t count change when you paid for something with cash. It’s sad that as a society, we’ve forgotten how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Overall, using our phones for elementary school math has put our brains to sleep.
And, have you noticed how very few people wear old-fashioned watches now?
When was the last time you used a physical map for directions?
Our minds have become very lazy!
Apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are setting you up for digital state surveillance and tracking.
Big tech is working actively with governments and banks worldwide to build the digital prison. In fact, many people would argue we’re already in it.
That is, we pay for everything digitally for the most part. You know, credit or debit card swipes, Apple Pay, Venmo, and electronic transfers have become easy, convenient ways to pay rather than using cash.
If you’ve noticed, banks, governments and big tech have been installing the digital matrix for a social credit system and a universal digital ID around the world for quite some time now.
Essentially, every transaction you’re making using any wallet app is tracked. That is, your data is being fed to a big tech company to build your unique Chinese-style social credit score.
Now, if you think about how much you’ve been participating in digital transactions (rather than cash ones), you’re actually giving away your sovereign power over your finances to multiple third parties. And right there that’s a dumb thing to do.
Remember, cash is king. Use cash to keep your transactions private.
Do you really want the government, your bank and a tech firm knowing how many times you went to Starbucks last week? Moreover, what if, one fine day, the authorities decided to put a limit on your purchases for the greater good? Or for your own good? How would you feel about that?
So, the bottom line recommendation is this: don’t use your phone’s apps for every day purchases! Use cash as much as possible. Because if you don’t eventually your ability to use cash will be removed.
Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) and 5G have affected our brain health too.
Countless studies have shown these invisible waves affect not only our cognition but also cause cancer. Of course, there are an equal number of studies that refute this claim. The truth lies somewhere in the middle and by how you feel.
The point is, be mindful that your cellphone and 5G technology can affect your brain’s cognitive ability and long-term health.
For a deeper dive on this topic, sign up for my newsletter now and you’ll instantly receive my free guide called Get Grounded: 10+ Easy Ways to Ditch your Cellphone to Reduce EMF Exposure and Find Vibrant Health.
So, how do we revert to becoming “smart” again? Well, it begins with ditching your smartphone in small steps and becoming more mindful of how it’s been controlling you and your mind
Begin with being kind to your mind
To begin, give yourself a break from your smartphone every day. Just a few minutes of downtime from technology gives your mind a rest and the opportunity to recharge and find balance with your environment.
Here are some easy ways to build in cellphone downtime:
When you wake up each day, spend time on yourself before checking your cellphone. Go for a morning walk, get in a workout, eat your breakfast and enjoy your coffee free from technology. Essentially, a regular morning self-care sets the stage for your brain to be more alert and productive for the day.
Put your phone’s notifications on silent when you need to work so you’re not constantly distracted. This will help improve productivity and can reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Spend time outdoors each day grounding and connecting with nature, irrespective of the weather. Leave your phone at home or turn it off. And then, notice the beauty of nature. Quite simply, notice the birds chirping, the scent of freshly mowed grass, the clouds drifting away in the sky, or the flowers in bloom.
Put away your phone when you’re eating. Pay attention to the meal, have good conversation with others while you eat and savor each bite. When we eat a meal mindfully, your brain absorbs nutrients better. And so does your body.
Every evening, turn your phone off and keep it out of your bedroom. Basically speaking, push notifications and EMFs interfere with your ability to get a goodnight’s sleep. Most importantly, your mind needs to rest to rejuvenate itself!
If you found this post helpful, check out my book, The Little Book of Grounding: 75+ simple ways to restore balance to your mind, body and spirit using ancient Ayurvedic teachings for today’s world.