why smartphones shouldn't be put on the table

We should all be better off simply putting our smartphones on the table. One study now speaks of "significant effects" on cognitive performance. Should we put the phone in our pockets?

why smartphones shouldn't be put on the table

Smartphone on the table: Study shows potential for distraction

Smartphones are so important to many people that we always want them within reach. What could be more evident than simply putting the mobile phone next to us on the table? What sounds like a comparatively harmless activity can have serious consequences. Researchers at the University of Texas have found that a smartphone within range can significantly impact brain performance, even when the phone is turned off. How can that be?


In a study of 800 subjects, experiments were carried out in which the participants were divided into three groups. It should be investigated how the location of the smartphone affects the performance of the subjects' brains. Participants of the first group put their mobile phone next to them on the table. The second group let their phone disappear in the backpack and out of sight. The third group transported their mobile phone immediately to another room. Then the researchers started a test that tested cognitive abilities – and the result was surprisingly straightforward, as Computer Bild writes.

Subjects in the group who had their mobile phones in another room performed significantly better in the test than participants in the other groups. However, differences between the other two groups (mobile phone on the table or mobile phone in the pocket) could not be detected. It also probably does not matter whether the smartphone is on or off or whether the display is pointing up or down.

Mobile phone nearby: Brainpower decreases

According to the scientists at the University of Texas, the mere possibility of theoretically using a mobile phone is enough to reduce the brain's performance temporarily. It would waste some of the cognitive performance for not being distracted by the phone. Only when the smartphone is not in range of vision can the brain really "switch off" and dedicate itself to the given task.

 Although this is only a single study that other researchers have not yet reproduced, detailed results should encourage reflection. It should be clear to every smartphone owner that we are easily distracted by mobile phone. However, it is irrelevant whether the mobile phone actually vibrates or is simply on the table or in the backpack is undoubtedly an exciting finding.