PDF | On Jan 1, 2018, Tristan Harris and others published How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate
Most of us spend at least a couple of hours a day staring at our smartphones. And it’s not just that we’re using them to stay connected with our friends and families. We’re also using them to stay up-to-date on the news, check our email, get directions, play games, and more.
But are we really in control of how we use our smartphones? Or are they, in fact, controlling us?
That’s the question that Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, attempts to answer in his recent essay, “How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds.”
Harris argues that our smartphones are designed in such a way that they exploit our psychological vulnerabilities. And, as a result, we end up spending more time on our phones than we ever intended.
One of the ways that our smartphones exploit us is by what Harris calls the “attention economy.” The attention economy is based on the idea that our attention is a scarce resource that is fought over by competing interests.
And, as Harris points out, the companies that make our smartphones are in the business of selling our attention to advertisers.
To do this, they use a variety of techniques, such as notifications, to try to keep us engaged with our phones. As Harris explains, notifications are designed to “interrupt us with a variety of options and make it impossible to resist.”
Another way that our smartphones hijack our attention is through what Harris calls the “variable rewards” of social media. Variable rewards are when we don’t know what we’re going to get when we engage in a certain behavior.
For example, when we check our Facebook notifications, we don’t know if we’re going to see a like or a comment on our latest post. This uncertainty is what keeps us coming back for more.
Harris argues that our phones are keeping us in a state of constant partial attention. And, as a result, we’re not able to focus on anything for very long.
This is a problem because, as Harris points out, our
What is a smartphone and how does it work?
A smartphone is a cell phone with additional functionality beyond making and receiving phone calls and texts. Common features of smartphones include the ability to send and receive email, browse the Internet, take and share photos and videos, play music, and run mobile apps.
How do smartphones work? Generally, a smartphone is a cellular phone that runs on a mobile operating system. This operating system may be proprietary to the phone manufacturer, such as iOS for Apple iPhones, or it may be open source, such as Android. The operating system platforms for smartphones provide the basic foundation for the device, including the user interface, app store, and basic features.
In addition to the operating system, each smartphone will have a processor, Random Access Memory (RAM), storage, and one or more input/output (I/O) devices. The processor is the main chip in the phone that handles all the calculations and processes needed to run the phone. RAM is temporary storage that the processor uses when it needs quick access to data. The storage is where all the apps, music, videos, and other files are stored on the phone. I/O devices are how a user interacts with the phone, such as the touchscreen, buttons, microphone, and speaker.
When a user makes a phone call, the following happens: The user’s voice is converted into an electrical signal by the microphone. This signal is then sent through the phone’s circuitry to the antenna. The antenna sends the signal as radio waves to the nearest cell tower. The cell tower then connects the call to the recipient’s phone.
The same process happens in reverse for calls received by a smartphone. For calls made from a phone with an active data connection, such as LTE or 3G, the process is similar, but the call is routed through the data network instead of the voice network.
How do smartphones connect to the Internet? Smartphones connect to the Internet through a wireless carrier data network or a Wi-Fi connection. A data network uses cellular data, such as 4G LTE or 5G, to provide an Internet connection. A Wi-Fi connection uses broadcasting wireless signals to connect to a local router or hot spot.
What is a mobile app? A mobile app is a software application designed to run on a smartphone or other mobile device. Mobile apps are available through app stores, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play
How do smartphones hijack our minds?
It is no secret that smartphones have become a near-necessity in daily life. They keep us connected to work, family, and friends, allow us to access nearly limitless amounts of information, and provide entertainment on demand. It is no wonder that, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center study, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone.
However, as ubiquitous and essential as they have become, there is growing concern that smartphones are having a negative impact on our minds. A number of studies have shown that smartphones can affect our thoughts, emotions, and behavior in ways that are not always apparent to us. For example, smartphone usage has been linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression, as well as problems with sleep.
One of the ways that smartphones can have such a profound impact on our minds is by hijacking our attention. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and notifications, it can be difficult to focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. This is not necessarily a bad thing – after all, our brains are constantly processing information and trying to make sense of it all.
However, when we are constantly interrupted by our phones, it can be difficult to maintain focus on any one task. This can lead to reduced productivity, as well as problems with memory and cognition. In addition, constant interruptions can increase levels of stress and anxiety.
One of the most pernicious effects of smartphone usage is its ability to keep us engaged for long periods of time. By design, smartphones are extremely addictive, and many of us are unwittingly caught in their web. Studies have shown that the average person checks their phone more than 80 times per day, and that one in three users are unable to go more than an hour without using their phone.
This constant engagement can have a number of negative effects on our minds. For one, it can lead to us feeling perpetually connected and on-call, which can be stressful and lead to burnout. In addition, it can make it difficult to disconnect from work and relax, as we are always reachable.
Finally, compulsive phone usage can result in us neglecting important aspects of our lives, such as our relationships, hobbies, and physical health. All of these effects can have a significant impact on our mental well-being.
So, how can we break the cycle of smartphone addiction and take back control of our minds? One
What are the consequences of smartphones hijacking our minds?
In short, the consequences of smartphones hijacking our minds are both mental and physical.
Mentally, we become more forgetful,8 more distractible,9 and our attention spans have shrunk.10 We now have an official name for the condition of being addicted to our phones: nomophobia, “no-mobile-phone-phobia.” It’s an extreme, irrational fear of being unable to use one’s phone, and it afflicts up to 66 percent of us.11
We also now have an official name for the condition of being addicted to our phones: nomophobia, “no-mobile-phone-phobia.”
We’re so attached to our smartphones that even the thought of being without them causes anxiety. A 2012 study found that 77 percent of American smartphone owners check their phones even when they don’t vibrate or ring.12 They just want to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Nomophobia is especially common among young people: A British study found that 58 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds feel anxious when they can’t use their phones, as opposed to just 18 percent of those over 55.13
This attachment has real consequences. Smartphone users are more likely to be involved in car accidents,14 and pedestrians who are texting are more likely to be hit by cars.15
But it’s not just our physical safety that’s at risk. Smartphone use has been linked with anxiety,16 depression,17 and loneliness.18 One study found that people who checked their phones more often during the day were more likely to report feeling anxious and depressed at night.19
But it’s not just our mental health that suffers. Research suggests that heavy smartphone use can lead to physical health problems, too.
A 2016 study found that the more time people spend on their phones, the greater the risk of developing neck pain.20 And extended smartphone use has been linked with an increased risk of developing dry eye syndrome,21 an eye condition that can lead to vision problems.
So what can we do to protect ourselves from the negative consequences of smartphone use?
For starters, we can be more mindful about how we use our phones. We can make a conscious effort to put them away more often, and to resist the urge to check them every five minutes.
What are some tips for using smartphones more effectively?
Mobile phones are one of the most useful and popular pieces of technology that we have in our lives today. They offer us a constant connection to the internet, allow us to stay in touch with friends and family, and give us access to a world of information and entertainment at our fingertips. However, for all their usefulness, smartphones can also be a major distraction, making it difficult to focus on work or studies, and leading to problems such as neck and back pain from poor posture. In this article, we will offer some tips on how to use your smartphone more effectively, so that you can get the most out of this handy piece of technology without harming your health or productivity.
1. Set phone limits One of the most important things you can do to use your smartphone more effectively is to set limits on how much time you spend using it. Just as you would with any other form of entertainment or social media, it is important to set aside a specific amount of time each day to use your phone, and then stick to that limit. This will help you to avoid spending too much time staring at your screen, and will allow you to focus on other tasks when you need to.
2. Put it down When you are not using your phone, make a conscious effort to put it down and out of sight. This will help you to resist the urge to pick it up and check it every few minutes, as well as helping to improve your posture. If you are working on something that requires your full attention, it can be helpful to put your phone in another room, or even to switch it off entirely.
3. Be selective with apps The average person has around 41 apps installed on their phone, but only uses around 30 of them on a regular basis.1 This means that there are a lot of apps taking up space on your phone that you don't really need. Go through your apps and delete any that you never use, or that you can use on a computer instead. This will free up space on your phone, and will make it easier to find the apps that you do use.
4. Keep it clean Keeping your phone clean and free of clutter will help you to use it more effectively. Uninstall any apps that you don't use, and delete any files, photos or videos that you no longer need. A clean and organized phone will be much easier to use than one that is full of junk.
How can we break the smartphone addiction?
Most people in the developed world today cannot go for more than a few hours without looking at their smartphone. According to a recent study, the average American checks his or her phone 46 times a day – that’s once every 12 minutes! It’s no wonder we’re all addicted to our phones. But what exactly is this addiction, and how can we break it?
The smartphone addiction is a real and growing phenomenon. It’s not just about wasting time scrolling through social media or playing games. It’s about being so tethered to your phone that you can’t even have a conversation without checking it. It’s about being so dependent on your phone that you can’t imagine going without it.
There are several reasons why we’re addicted to our smartphones. First, they’re always with us. We never have to be without our phones, which gives us a false sense of security. They’re also a constant source of entertainment. We can use them to kill time when we’re bored, or to avoid awkward social situations.
But the biggest reason we’re addicted to our smartphones is because of the dopamine hit they give us. Every time we get a notification, or see a new like or comment on our posts, our brain gives us a little hit of dopamine. This reinforces the behaviour, and encourages us to keep checking our phones even more.
So how can we break the smartphone addiction?
The first step is to recognise that you have a problem. If you find yourself constantly checking your phone, even when you’re supposed to be doing something else, then you need to cut back.
Start by setting some limits. Decide how often you want to check your phone, and stick to it. Put your phone away during social gatherings, and make a rule that you won’t use it after a certain time at night.
It’s also important to find other things to do with your time. If you’re used to killing time by scrolling through social media, you need to find a new hobby. Take up a sport, or start reading again. Find something that you’re passionate about, and use your phone as a tool to improve your life, not as a way to escape it.
Breaking the smartphone addiction is not going to be easy
What are the long-term effects of smartphone use?
Smartphones are one of the most popular technological devices in the world, with over two billion users worldwide. While smartphones have many positive effects, such as providing a convenient way to stay connected with loved ones and having access to a wealth of information at our fingertips, there is also a growing body of research that suggests that there may be long-term effects of smartphone use that we are only beginning to understand.
One potential long-term effect of smartphone use is addiction. A 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that smartphone addiction is associated with certain changes in the brain, including an increased need for immediate gratification and reduced self-control. In addition, smartphone addiction has been linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
While more research is needed to understand the exact relationship between smartphone addiction and mental health, the growing body of evidence suggests that there may be a long-term effect of smartphone use that we need to be aware of. In addition to the potential mental health effects of smartphone addiction, there are also physical health effects that have been linked to smartphone use.
For example, a 2017 study published in the journal PLoS One found that people who use their smartphones more than five hours a day are at an increased risk for developing neck pain. In addition, the blue light emitted from smartphone screens has been linked to sleep problems, and the increased use of smartphones has also been associated with an increased risk of car accidents.
While the long-term effects of smartphone use are still being studied, the evidence that is available suggests that there may be some negative effects that we need to be aware of. If you are concerned about the potential long-term effects of smartphone use, there are some steps that you can take to limit your exposure.
For example, you can try to limit your smartphone use to essential activities, such as making phone calls or checking email. You can also try to set specific times for when you will use your smartphone, and stick to that schedule. Additionally, if you find yourself becoming addicted to your smartphone, there are resources available to help you break the cycle of addiction.
In conclusion, the long-term effects of smartphone use are still being studied, but there is evidence to suggest that there may be some negative effects, such as addiction and mental health problems. If you are concerned about the potential long-term effects of smartphone use, there are steps that you can take to limit your exposure
How can we make sure our children don't get addicted to smartphones?
The smartphone is perhaps the most addictive device that has ever been invented. It is a device that can be used for both good and bad, but the potential for addiction is very real. Here are some tips on how to make sure your children don't get addicted to smartphones:
1. Be a good role model. If you are addicted to your smartphone, your children are likely to follow your example. Be conscious of your own smartphone use and try to limit it in front of your children.
2. Set rules and limits on smartphone use. It is important to set clear rules and limits on how much time your children can spend on their smartphones. Start with small amounts of time and increase the limits gradually.
3.Encourage other activities. Make sure your children have other activities that they enjoy and that take up time in their day. This can help reduce the temptation to spend excessive amounts of time on their smartphones.
4. Be open and honest. Talk to your children about the dangers of smartphone addiction. Be open and honest with them about your own struggles, if you have any.
5. Seek professional help. If you feel like your child is addicted to their smartphone, seek professional help. There are many resources available to help families deal with smartphone addiction.
What are the societal implications of smartphones hijacking our minds?
The ubiquity of smartphones has led to a decrease in face-to-face interactions, as more and more people are buried in their screens. This has had a number of societal implications, both positive and negative.
One positive consequence of this trend is that it has made communication easier and more convenient than ever before. With just a few taps on a screen, we can easily stay in touch with friends and family members who live far away. We can also access a wealth of information and resources that were previously unavailable to us.
However, there are also a number of negative implications of this trend. One of the most significant is that it has contributed to a decrease in quality face-to-face interactions. When we are constantly staring at our screens, we are not really interacting with the people around us. This can lead to a feeling of isolation and disconnection from others.
Another negative implication is that it can be easy to become addicted to our smartphones. We can become so fixated on checking our notifications and updates that we neglect other important aspects of our lives. This can impact our work, our relationships, and our overall well-being.
So, what are the societal implications of smartphones hijacking our minds? While there are some positive effects, such as increased convenience and access to information, there are also some negative consequences that we need to be aware of. These include increased isolation, addiction, and a decrease in quality face-to-face interactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Internet and smartphones change your brain chemistry?
Results of a study suggest that frequent use of internet and smartphones may lead to neurochemical alterations in young people’s brains. These changes may include an increased risk for developing addictive behavior.
Is it bad to put your phone in your pocket?
The results of the study suggest that putting a phone in your pocket or closer than 6 inches to your body can cause serious damage to your body such as cancer. Is it safe to put a phone in your pocket? Based on the above results, it seems that using a phone inappropriately while it's in our pockets is not really safe. In fact, doing so may even lead to some serious health problems down the road. So, if you must take your phone with you wherever you go, be sure to keep it as far away from your body as possible and only use it when necessary.
Why do you need headphones?
When shopping for headphones, it's important to consider what type of audio you want to enjoy. Headphones can be classified according to how they produce sound: on-ear, over-the-ear, or in-ear. On-ear headphones sit on top of your ear like normal earbuds and push the earphone sound directly into your ear. Over-the-ear headphones hang down either side of your head, and the earphones are inserted into the ears themselves. In-ear headphones go inside your ears one piece (or sometimes two), so there's no obstruction from outside noise. Some people find in-ear headphones more comfortable than others; if you're prone to ear pressure issues or have trouble sealing your ears against water and
Are headphones bad for your skin?
Wearing headphones for extended periods may increase your risk of developing acne and other skin issues, according to a dermatologist. The constant pressure and vibration on the skin can cause breakouts, redness, and infection. Additionally, sweat and moisture can accumulate on and around the headphones, which can lead to additional irritation. If you regularly...
Do mobile phones'affect the brain'?
Studies have suggested that mobile phones could have an effect on the brain. They report higher sugar use in the brain, a sign of increased activity, after 50 minutes on the phone.