Wherever you may be, there’s no escaping the social networking connection, and the temptation to check your likes and notifications on your smartphones.
The various forms of social media are specifically familiar for the younger demographic, some of which are highly addicted.
“To me as someone whose looking at educating the next generation of workers out there, social media has been a major problem for us,” says Economics Professor at Fanshawe College, Darren Chapman, “It’s disengaging in the sense that in the classroom it can be disrespectful, and the students aren’t fully engaged in the studies that they’re supposed to be in the class for, and most importantly they’re disengaging from themselves.”
According to research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of Advanced Motorist, the reaction time of a driver is slowed by 38% while using their smartphone, as opposed to the 12% of someone who has been drinking and driving.
London’s Dr. Paulum Patel compares the dangers of driving while using a cellphone to impaired driving.
“I’ve been involved in studies that looked at the cognitive impairment that occurs, and we did a three-part study looking at alcohol specifically, another looking at sleep prescription medications, and the third arm was distracted driving from smartphones,” Patel says, “The data is showing that there’s not much difference in the degree of impairment when you look at all three.”
Dopamine is actually released in your brain when you receive a smartphone notification, thus making it extremely addictive to keep engaging.
Dr. Patel says social media has its positives, including a barrage of information at your fingertips, but in other ways makes people ignorant to reality.
He encourages people to limit their use of smartphones and think critically about the information that they are exposed to on social networking sites.