I like to observe how people act and think about why. Smart phones have become pervasive enough to change human behavior. What are the consequences?
Do smart phones make stupid humans?
Have you ever wondered if smart phones make us stupid? Now we have an answer and we know how stupid they make us. “Even if you’re not using it, just having your smartphone on your desk reduces your working memory capacity by 10% and fluid intelligence by 5%.” Adam Grant shared this study via this LinkedIn post.
The solution is simple: keep it in your pants, out of sight. Leave your phone in another room.
If a smart phone sabotages it’ owner, what do they do to everyone else in the room?
Simon Sinek has something interested to say about this topic. Placing your smartphone on the table at a meeting sends a signal to everyone in the room “you’re just not that important to me.” When the phone is face up, every notification lights up the screen and draws attention. When it’s face down, notification vibrations trigger nearby attendees to check their devices.
Does social media get in the way of social bonding?
You might feel sad when you see a family at dinner staring at jeejahs and not engaged in conversation. Consider an alternate point of view from Gary Vaynerchuck: smartphones didn’t create this problem. The old way to endure failure-to-connect meant drowning in awkward silence. The option to stick the nose in social media means those silences suck a little less.
How can attention spans be lengthened?
There was a time when the hat rack was a symbol of transition from public to private space. When entering the private space, one was expected to hang up their hat. Now, imagine docking smartphones in the charging rack upon entering a pricate space. This is a great way to remove a huge source of distraction from the meeting and keep everyone engaged.
I think we are all still learning ‘proper’ smartphone etiquette, as we must do for inventions that change the way we live and work. Slowly people settle on unspoken rules of when and where putting it on the table is appropriate or inappropriate.
Thank you for reading!
Together we build a world free of fear. What would you do if you were not afraid?