Imagine this, you’re busy at work, writing one e-mail after another, when you decide that enough is enough and take a break from the task at hand. You can use this time to get catch-up with that colleague or walk yourself to the pantry for a hot cup of coffee. Instead, you whip out your phone and scroll through Instagram or play a game.
Our whole lives revolve around our smartphones. In fact, the first thing we do when we wake up is check our phones. Facebook FTW, after all! But everything in life comes at a price. And turns out that your dalliance with the gadget can cost you your mental ability—especially at work.In an interesting experiment, the findings of which have been published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, over four hundred college undergraduates were asked to solve challenging sets of word puzzles.
Halfway through the task, some participants were allowed to take breaks using their cell phones, while others took breaks using paper or a computer. Some took no break at all.
The researchers, from Rutgers University in the US, found that the participants who took phone breaks experienced the highest levels of mental depletion and were among the least capable of solving the puzzles afterwards.
Their post-break efficiency and quickness was comparable to those who took no breaks at all.