How Smartphones Can Leave You Stupid

Does it ever seem that you enjoy the world through your smartphone these days? Documenting every event can be bad for your mind and always being connected stunts creative solutions.

What's the Latest Development?


Does your smartphone keep you from living in the moment? As Nick Bilton watched a sunset off the coast of California, he realized he was incapable of enjoying the moment without documenting it on his smartphone. His reason? He didn't want to forget the beauty of the scenery. But forgetting is a natural and necessary process of the brain, says Oxford University professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger. Forgetting is akin to mental hygiene and if we insist on documenting everything, we may impede that process.  

What's the Big Idea?

Constantly interacting with your smartphone can also mean the loss of do-nothing, daydreaming time. In our push for productivity and efficiency, we try to best our own brains without realizing that our minds' default state is inattentiveness. Recent neuroscientific research indicates that we desperately need time to daydream. "Daydreaming and boredom seem to be a source for incubation and creative discovery in the brain and are part of the creative incubation process," says psychology professor Jonathan Schooler.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less