Video: Is Your Smartphone Making You Dumb?

Culture Vulture - Mindshare InSites
Cover image for  article: Video:  Is Your Smartphone Making You Dumb?

On this episode of Mindshare's Culture Vulture Live, Karina Marinha talks about a trend that we've been following called Tapped Out.  Human beings only have so much cognitive energy and time available.  And now that the average adult spends more than 10 hours per day consuming content from traditional and social media, we may have reached our limit. 

Information overload is not a new concept.  But our phones allow us to access all of the information all of the time -- with no real time to absorb or process what we have read.  To reduce news FOMO (also known as Fear of Missing Out), a researcher at Penn State suggests that you finish each post (rather than skimming) and then comment if the story made you react.  Choosing what stories to respond to will help you better judge what issues are most important to you -- and worth your time!

It also turns out that when you aren't scrolling or commenting, it might be best to just leave your phone in an entirely separate room.   A recent study in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research found that being in the presence of a smartphone -- even if it's on silent or turned off -- reduces both your working memory and problem-solving skills.  The 43% of smartphone users that check their phone within five minutes of waking up are already behind on brainpower for the rest of the day.

So, while your smartphone can help avoid FOMO, you'll have to decide which you value more: seeing everything, or remembering it!  And for marketers, it's important to remember that your audience has a finite amount of attention that many other brands are vying for.  Make sure that your content is straightforward, clear and stands out whenever possible, so that you're not just contributing to information overload.

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