Your Smartphone is smart, but is it making you stupid?

Yesterday I decided to switch off my Smartphone and iPad for a self-centred, non electronic Sunday. A seemingly easy task one would think (my hubby bailed – he was supposed to join me but had already checked the weather, surf and used GPS by 9am!) One of my biggest concerns about my dependence on my Smartphone is my brain cells are withering away as I replace the need for them with my new fangled gadget. So to prove to myself that I could function without this handy little device with it’s cute pink leather case, I put myself to the test yesterday.

Here’s why it was hard:

  • It was my Mum’s birthday and I was planning dinner – should I do a BBQ or would there be a cool change? Normally I’d check my weather app (keep in mind here we don’t have any newspapers, TV news or radio on in our little sanctuary of a house!)
  • Before doing the grocery shop I needed to check the ingredients for my shopping list – but my favourite recipe books are e-books and for that I needed the iPad
  • We drove into town and I didn’t know how to get to the industrial estate – a girl with my map reading skills needs GPS!
  • As I wrote this blog I was sitting in the car waiting for my hubby to come out of a shop. I really wanted to send him a hurry message because it was 33 degrees and the kids were getting cranky!

How about you? How reliant are you on your smartphone? I can’t believe how much I’ve come to depend on it in such a short space of time – I mean only 12 months ago I didn’t even know what an app was!

There are so many benefits to using a Smartphone and i’m one their biggest fans, BUT like anything, we have to use them in moderation. As we head towards our late 30’s and early 40’s ( I can’t believe I’m saying this!) we actually have to ensure we work our brain, including the areas of memory, creativity and communication. If we want to have good cognitive functioning well into old age then it’s either use it or lose it!

Here’s what I gained from my 11 hours of abstinence (yes, I caved at 4pm):

  1. I focused on landmarks and used my memory to get around town without GPS ( no, I don’t know where the map book is, and I am even more likely to get lost when using one). This is awesome for strengthening your memory which is important if you want to avoid cognitive degeneration later in life (or even for tomorrow, so that I can remember the names of all the new kinder teachers I’ve just met…)
  2. I used my paperback recipe books (after dusting them off!) to look for recipe inspiration for the week. The kids became interested in all of the pretty pictures and we made a family session of the meal planning (Bonus: quality time with my kids and maybe they’ll eat what I serve this week because they chose it!)
  3. While waiting in the car for my hubby I wrote this blog, rather than procrastinating on Facebook and Instagram. (Bonus: I just saved an hour of work time tomorrow!)
  4. Not knowing what the weather was going to be doing for the day I struck up a conversation with my neighbour and asked them – and they knew the answer! (of course, because they checked their Smartphone app…Bonus: connecting with my community)

So try and get yourself a balance. Use your Smartphone when you have to, but if your brain could do the job perfectly well then let it!

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