Smart phones make you less smart

It’s official.  Trying to read or write something intelligent (like this blog, for example) is rendered 17% less efficient if you have your Smart Phone on at the same time.  Apparently, once interrupted by a bleep or a little red flash, we learn to expect interruptions.  And, worse, we start dealing with interruptions instead of remaining focused on the task in hand.  It’s a learned behaviour that is hard to unlearn.

If you think I’m overdoing it, read this article in the Guardian, where researchers from the University of Kent have proved as much with clever cameras and stop watches.   They were researching the work environment.  I suspect that the impact on social “focus” is probably worse.  Maybe making us 34% less present in social situations? 

Just wondering when the smart thing to do will be to go smart-free?   Says he, writing a blog that you may well pick up on a Smart Phone.  After it flashes and bleeps at you.  Thoughts?