Cell Phones: Their Mere Presence is Distracting

When it comes to smartphone-induced distractions, it seems we just can’t win. Researchers at the University of Southern Maine found that people were distracted by their phone, even when they weren’t using it.

According to one study, mobile users check their devices an average over 100 times a day. And most users can’t go 10 minutes without texting, checking an email or seeing if they missed a call.

Age of Distraction

Researchers asked volunteers from two universities to participate in attention exercises. The difference: one group was allowed to leave their phone on the desk; the other had to put their phones away. As it turns out, the group without the phones on their desks performed significantly better, especially when it came to complicated tasks.

Researchers say evidence shows the presence of a cell phone can make you more inclined to hear conversations. It can also diminish attention span and cognitive ability.

Experts say the findings suggest that when we need to do some work the best thing to do is not just turn your phone off – but put it away as well.