iPhone Withdrawal Makes Its Addicts Dumber, New Study Finds

When separated from their iPhones, Apple fanboys experienced physical changes as well as loss in cognitive abilities.


We don't know whether the smartphone revolution has made us any smarter, but a new study claims that we definitely become dumber when our beloved iPhones are taken away from us.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri examined the reactions of people both with and without their iPhones and noticed a startling distinction in the two.

When in the company of their Apple smartphones, the tested subjects solved a series of puzzles with their normal abilities. But when they were asked to give away their iPhones for a bit, that's when their cognitive abilities dipped and heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety levels soared.

Published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, the study suggested a way of countering this cognitive plunge as well. Instead of attempting to limit our reliance on smartphones, the study suggests that we should simply make sure that our iPhones are with us when doing something important like taking a test, conducting a meeting, etc.


As to why we behave like we do when separated from our iPhones, the study's lead author Russell Clayton offers a rather interesting explanation.

According to him, most iPhone addicts are so vested in their Apple-made devices that the technology practically becomes an extended part of their existence. Hence, when that extension gets taken away from them, it suddenly induces a cognitive change, just as it would in the immediate aftermath of any physiological change.

“The results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state,” Clayton said.

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