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Smartphones: What We Fail to See

Updated on June 21, 2019
Ali Dillender profile image

Lex is an Animal and Dairy Science major, Chemistry minor at Mississippi State University. She loves thinking on probing subjects.

The Brain

Did you know that the brain is constantly rewiring itself?

Forever changing- making and breaking connections with neurons. And our phones? Well, they are causing change in our brains... but, I don't think it's for the better.


We are so distracted multi-tasking on our phones that we miss crucial details in life


Every day, our hippocampus is at work in the limbic system of our brains processing all the information that we collect and turning it into long-term memories.

We are so distracted multi-tasking on our phones that we miss crucial details in life which cause our brains to not be able to pick up on significant details. Therefore we do not retain as much information in our long-term memory.

If you look at students, it is proven that the ones who use their phones during lecture are less likely to retain that information and do well on exams.


Because they are distracted and do not make connections with the material. They are not writing down notes and sending the message to their brains that this information is crucial and needs to be remembered. Likewise, they will most likely miss extra details by professors which will inevitably come up in the exam.


Are you guilty of using your phone during class or meetings?

See results

It's changed my life so much not being on my phone all the time... I was having a serious mental breakdown before

— Philip Wittmann


It is true that we are always connected to others 24/7 because of our phones. However, this can cause us to not have face to face human interactions.

It is easier to sit around and just text our friends but honestly, it really feels lonely doesn't it?

One of my college friends, Philip Wittmann, was talking to me on the subject about when he first came to MSU:

"I was spending all my time on my phone, not making any real connections with people. I got tired of being lonely so I started hanging out and going out with more people on my hall. It's changed my life so much not being on my phone all the time... I was having a serious mental breakdown before but I've come a long way as a person and I'm really happy with myself now"

I moved 12 hours away from home for college and didn't know a single soul, if I would have stayed in my dorm room on my phone talking to my ex all the time then I wouldn't have all the friends I have now. I surely wouldn't have been able to break up with him and gain a whole lot of independence.


Have you ever felt lonely while texting friends?

See results

the reward a notification gives our brain stems from the same area of the brain that activates when a person uses cocaine


Whenever you hear that buzz in your pocket, you instantly snatch your phone out of your pocket, don't even try to tell me you don't.

We all do. Why?

Because that notification is almost like a gift to your brain, our minds have been reprogrammed so that we actually feel good when we get a text or a like on Instagram. The mastermind behind this is dopamine- a "feel good" neurotransmitter.

This dopamine reward for our brains can actually be as addicting as drugs.

We constantly feel the need to check our phones no matter what and it can cause us to unconsciously pull out our phones in inappropriate situations. Like maybe even during a loved one's funeral.

Many studies have proven that the reward a notification gives our brain stems from the same area of the brain that activates when a person uses cocaine.

Scary right?


Are you addicted to your smartphone?

See results

We get so sucked into the media black hole that we don't realize how long we have been scrolling

Time Management

If you think about it, how many times do you take a "short" phone break and the next time you look up at the time you realize a few hours have passed?

Think about how these "breaks" take up our time and limit productivity.

We get so sucked into the media black hole that we don't realize how long we have been scrolling and you were probably doing work or studying.

That's a lot of wasted time that could have been used for productive activities and is a major reason why people often feel like they never have enough time to get their work done.


Ever been stuck on the endless scroll?

See results

The Take Away

Our phones are causing our brains to completely rewire, we are dependent on them and we are missing out on key life moments because of them.

Stop getting sucked into the scroll, limit your time on your phone and take in life as it comes.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for reading my article! I hope this really opened your eyes about how our smartphones are changing our lives and brains! Don't forget to comment with constructive criticism and rate!

4 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Smartphones: What We Fail to See

© 2019 Alexis Dillender


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    • Ali Dillender profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexis Dillender 

      22 months ago from Starkville, MS

      Yeah, I totally hate that smartphones are partially separating us from the world and damaging relationships with others, Cristina. Even though I am a part of this younger generation who always has had access to smartphones, I did not have one until high school so I can see the real effects smartphones are having.

    • Stina Caxe profile image

      Cristina Cakes 

      22 months ago from Virginia

      We celebrated my daughters tenth birthday yesterday and I was sad to see that every adult was staring at their phone instead of enjoying the children. I am a girl scout leader and I run into the same issue at our meetings.

      I was speaking to someone the other day about an adventure I had when I was a kid. I regret not having pictures of the event however, as I told my friend, before smartphones, we experienced things with our eyes not through our phones.

    • Shing Araya profile image

      Shing Araya 

      22 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I found your article informative. Thanks for sharing!


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