The human brain is the most astonishing and complicated thing that controls our lives every second. We reached the moon because of this amazing network of neurons. Human brain created wonders and distinguished us, the Homo sapiens, among the known species inhabiting this planet, and it can’t resist checking the notifications on Facebook or Instagram, on our smartphones. Let’s think about it. How long we can refrain from checking our phones to sneak into our social media accounts? 5 minutes? Alright, 7 minutes top. How does the smartphone affect us so deeply? Well, it’s obvious that it has the strong ability to interfere with our daily life and physical tasks. Theoretically, smartphones create two forms of interruptions, extrinsic and intrinsic. Intrinsic interruption is dangerous because the mind is interrupted with individual’s own thoughts while using the phone, generating an unintended desire to keep interacting with it. This “drifted attention” fetches an immediate gratification of something lacking in real life. This charming and appealing digital media is playing with peoples’ nerves as interactions on virtual space and staying online incessantly are not something we ask for but happening spontaneously. It is what new media technology wants us to do. It makes us “scatter-brained” and this is what individuals are hooked onto, always investing time and energy into devices. It seriously hampers our focus. Clearly this gives rise to diminished attention span as a result of increased contact with smart phones. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that focus is a lost art now. We are now checking our phone 150 times a day, or maybe more. We are literally walking into things because a phone screen is always distracting us from the real world. Certainly, smartphones have become a persistent inseparable part of our lives. They have the capacity to replace the various mental functions seamlessly. We know that smartphones are being upgraded day by day to perform the cognitive functions and bring satisfaction to humans. Likewise, there is another firm stance that, and many researchers actually said that smartphones make us fat and lazy which could be loosely translated as “stupid”. Yes, we humans are hooked on to multiple things going on in a single moment, digitally. It has become an exciting activity to jump from app to app than to concentrate on a single thing out of the digital domain. In fact, the most personal, inevitable thing we have is a smartphone. An article titled, “Are smartphones making us dumber” narrates a fact that they do not assist in our mental functions rather affect our abilities to think and pay attention. So, here we can make an assumption that smart phone is messing up our minds and taking over our faculties. Patricia Marks Greenfield, an American psychologist expressed her views that smartphones are “rewiring our brains”. Hence, the constant use of smartphones and its addictive technology we have started craving for immediate gratifications to satisfy our minds. If we dig deeper one may see the threats and fear behind this process. Corrupting our minds and making us vulnerable towards the technology. But, it’s not you. It’s your phone playing tricks on your mind. Award winning journalist, Catherine Price wrote an impressive essay on “How to break up with your phone” and illustrated the point that virtual platforms created a want for something new every coming second. The most serious thing we are facing today is the crisis of memory. We don’t make efforts to commit information to the memory; rather we depend on technology to make that information available to us This phenomenon hijacks our attention. In one study, researchers revealed that the smartphone “notification” feature is the first thing that grabs people’s attention. The sound of notification is enough to distract an individual. Hence, it affects focused attention and researcher signified that these notifications provoke unnecessary thoughts resulting in an inefficient performance The younger generation feels socially dependent on their cell phones and any sort of dependence gives rise to anxiety. The real concern arises when minimal panic attacks after staying away from cell phones are overlooked because people have become less skeptical nowadays. They simple don’t think deeper or maybe they just don’t want to think. How this crisis is occurring? And to what extent? The most serious thing we are facing today is the crisis of memory. We don’t make efforts to commit information to the memory; rather we depend on technology to make that information available to us. Betsy Sparrow, professor of psychology carried out an experiment to evaluate how this memory phenomenon works. This researcher conducted an experiment where participants were asked to type any information and later were tested under three conditions. In the first condition, they were told that the information was saved. In the second, they were told that the information was saved in six folders and in the third; they were told that the information was promptly deleted. Later, when the content of information was asked, participants couldn’t recall it. They only remembered the names of the folders where that information was saved. This proves that “the processes of human memory are adapting to the advent of new computing and communication technology”. These effects on memory and attention caused by smartphones or any other media instigate the mind for immediate gratifications. This could be termed as a cultural shift where people are less focused and looking for instant way outs. We are now use to of consuming little pieces of information and start ignoring actual depth of knowledge. We as a generation are moving towards the “distracted future”, leading to insufficient skills for performance. In the coming years, this deterioration of attention span is increasing as we are becoming more dependent upon technology. Distraction has become a norm, we desire for it when it’s absent. That is why we constantly seek out for our phones. In one experiment in Chicago, 94 percent of the pedestrians couldn’t notice the money hanging from tress because they were using their phones while walking. In another survey, in Japan’s Hokkaido University, it was observed that students seemed to work when their phones were in close proximity. According to the American Psychological Association, checking the phone continuously increases anxiety in people, ending up affecting the whole personality and mind. We must sit back and think about it. Start a routine of staying away from social media on your smartphones. Do it when necessary. A lot of people spend too much time on smartphones just because it’s the nature of their work, but it’s not about that. It’s merely about staying away from unnecessary cell phone actions. Work on it before it consumes all of your attention. It’s important to examine your life and start giving your mind a rest. If you really want to better your mind and life, this is where you should take an action. Published in Daily Times, February 8th 2019.