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.

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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.

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