Your Phone Might Actually Be Good for Your Brain

Three people using smartphones.
Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com

Are you ever worried that you spend too much time on your phone? Does your screen report scare you? Well, there’s some good news! Your phone usage could actually be benefiting your brain.

According to a recently published article in Nature Human Behavior, smartphones and digital technologies aren’t harming our brains, but rather, they’re supplementing our existing ways of thinking. Ultimately, this leads to our brains being able to complete more complex tasks.

Anthony Chemero, Ph.D., one of the researchers on the study, says the data shows people are just thinking differently now, not less intelligently. This refutes previous studies that claimed cognitive function is hindered when there’s a phone present.

In those previous studies, the theory was that participants who had their smartphones with them did less well with tasks that demanded more brainpower. Chemero argues that people simply found their phones more interesting than whatever the task was—not that they couldn’t do it. He says it comes down to motivation.

However, the researchers made clear that they’re not saying your smartphone is actively good for you. There are still all sorts of issues related to excess phone usage, including lack of sleep, blue light damage, and so on, so you should still limit your screen time.
Still, it’s a relief to know your phone isn’t making you dumb, right?

[Via Well + Good]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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