Did you know: smartphone use provokes attention deficit and hyperactivity symptoms


Finding yourself struggling to concentrate and pay attention to tasks you don't find particularly stimulating, like doing chores? Or maybe you are borderline incapable of sitting down for more than a minute without getting the jitters? Regardless of the severity of your experience, spending too much time with your smartphone could be a major contributor to your condition, which shares more than a few symptoms with those of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A recent scientific survey by a research team from the University of Virginia established that smartphone interruptions can cause greater attention and hyperactivity symptoms even among people from a nonclinical population. As part of the study, 221 university students were asked to maximise interruptions by turning all their notification and alerts on while keeping their smartphones within reach. This went on for a week, and then the participants were asked to do the opposite – again, over the course of seven days.

The results firmly showed that the students experienced much higher levels of inability to pay attention and restlessness during the week of intense smartphone use. They experienced ADHD-like symptoms, such as difficult focusing, getting bored easily when trying to focus, fidgeting, inability to sit still, and struggled to do quiet tasks and activities. According to research leader Dr. Kostadin Kushlev, smartphones contributed to the development of these symptoms by presenting a quick and easy source of distraction.

If you consider yourself in a similar position but don't want to abandon your smartphone, we suggest you try out applications like Offtime for Android (link) and Moment for iOS (link). They will purposefully mute your smartphone's most distracting apps and notifications for a given time period which you can dedicate to yourself and any tasks that require serious concentration. If these don't help, you'll have to put yourself on a smartphone diet. Or maybe go all out and downgrade to humble feature phone without games and data connection. Whatever you decide to do, rest assured that you are not alone and salvation is near!

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5 Comments

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Smart phones offer so many possible distractions, is this even something people didn't know? you are giving people a device that gives access to uncounted amount of distractions, and didn't expect that if they don't have good self control they can't focus away from it?

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Hence I'm thinking about getting a Flip Phone...! I've made myself too busy with my Smartphone, I just can't help but feel that my Smartphones are out-smarting me and making me Dumb...! Those rugged as a brick Kyocera Dura XVs Flip Phones have got my attention! Unless of course you know someone who can fix my broken Nokia 3310 here in Aussie Land...! G'Day!

4. bubblechaos

Posts: 114; Member since: May 04, 2015

I think this article make sense for people like me. So i've been attached to my phone lately this past week. Whenever i start talking to people or doing some simple task, my mind would drift away for a few second every minute. I used to be able to focus before on my work and chores but now i feel less focus and easily bored at times. I might need a diet :(

7. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

This is a problem I see many have, a lot of people just can't put stuff away, I suppose it is because of the overwhelming amount of stuff you can do now, and a lot of people have trouble realizing that 99.99% of all that stuff, isn't going anywhere, your game? will still be there, even if you aren't, yes, you could 'miss' an event, but is that really so bad? not checking social media and not responding instantly to it, is it that bad? what is the rush?

5. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

Very true...currently suffering from that

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