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Monday, June 9, 2014

9 Reasons You Shouldn't Have Your Cell Phone While Studying


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Put that cell phone down when you pick those textbooks up... Wanna know why?


1. It's Too Hard To Stay Focused


Yes. I know you like to think of yourself as the kung fu master of focused studying but I can assure you everyone does. Everyone thinks that they're somehow above the mild urge to pick up their cell phone whenever they get a tad bit bored. Even if you have the discipline not to pick up the phone, the little urge in the back of your head will still distract you from studying.

2. If You Get A Call...


If you get a phone call while studying, whether you like it or not, you're going to get distracted. If you don't answer it then your brain will suddenly start asking questions like, “Who was that?” or “Is it important?'' That alone is a distraction but it goes farther. Naturally, you're going to check who called. Then if it's something you think might be important you'll check your voicemail. Your brain has officially given up on studying mode. Whenever you let your brain leave studying, you make it harder to get back into it.

That is all, assuming you don't answer it after the second ring like most people.

3. If You Get A Text...


Yea... I know studying seems boring. It can be much more entertaining to text a few friends while you're trying to remember the information. More entertainment isn't the reason you should be studying though. If you want entertainment there are better ways. The little distraction every couple minutes does matter. Focus on studying or don't study at all.

4. Entertainment


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Imagine you're sitting at a table with a steak dinner on one side, and a meal you absolutely hate on the other side. Studying is that meal you hate. When you put a steak dinner next to it (like your amazingly fun phone) you're going to need all kinds of discipline just to sit on the correct side of the table.

Studying with a phone next to you just makes studying more difficult. When you're in the habit of doing it, you're bound to learn to hate the process of studying because your brain always has the ability to compare it to using your phone. Imagine you were hopelessly trapped in a room with nothing to do but study or rot away for weeks at a time. Studying won't look so bad when it's the only option. The more you make it feel like your best option, the better you're going to do with it.

5. Your Friends Deserve All Of You


I can imagine that it (might) be possible to study effectively while talking to a friend. That being said, you won't be talking to the friend effectively. Studying requires serious focus. If you're doing it right then your friend is going to feel insulted by how little attention you're giving them. Do your friends feel insulted while you're studying and texting with them at the same time? If not then you're not studying right.

NO! I'm not saying you should make your friends feel insulted. I'm saying you should focus on one or the other. When you study, you should give studying the respect it deserves. When you're talking with friends, you should give them the respect they deserve.

6. Emergencies Don't Really Happen (Much)


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This does not apply for everyone but do not go assuming it doesn't apply for you. The vast majority of people don't have emergencies that they need to be informed about immediately. If you're a parent, a doctor, or a superhero, you may have emergencies. Other than those, and similar categories, you probably don't need to be informed immediately.

99.9% of the time you're not going to have any important emergency while studying. Carrying your phone with you every time you study is 99.9% of the time, a pointless distraction. It will always have brain space whether you intentionally think about it or not. It's better to accept that the world will be waiting for you in 15-20 minutes when you're done studying.

7. Cell Phones Make Terrible Calculators


Yes. The calculator excuse has been done plenty of times before. Some students believe their lack of a calculator is a good reason to carry their phone. Okay... I understand that you need a calculator. If you have no other option then maybe you should leave your phone next to you but really...

The buttons are usually crap. The calculator rarely has all the features you need at easy access. They're painfully slow. They can easily become a distraction. Spend the 5 bucks to get a real calculator. If you're not willing or able to do that then you have bigger problems than your grades.

8. Blankie Disease


The resistance people have to leaving their phone ten feet away from themselves while studying is insane. No matter how many rational explanations I try, people always want to hold onto them for some other strange reason. I get the impression it's similar to the attachment a child has to their blankie...

Grow up. You can live without your phone for 20 minutes of your life. The world will keep on spinning. You've lived without it before (probably) and you can last a little while without it.

9. Smart Phones Make You Dumb


The more information your phone holds. The less your brain needs to hold. Remember that.

There was a time when people actually remembered the phone numbers to their friends. They didn't have contact lists to help them out. Today more and more information is getting stored. For most applications, that's great but it comes with a cost. The more you rely on your phone, the less you rely on your brain. The less you rely on your brain, the less your brain is strengthening over time.

Does that mean you shouldn't ever use your phone? Hell no. It's way too useful. Getting your memory a little stronger isn't necessary for most people. The point of me telling you this is just for you to be more aware of it. Relying on a phone has negatives as well.


I have this creeping feeling that 9 out of 10 students are going to pick up their phone after reading this. I figure it's kind of like yawning. It's a little bit contagious. That 1 out of 10 students that learn to control themselves are going to be the ones capable of making the most out of their study time. Try to be one of those ones.

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