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Keep Your iPhone Close, or Experience These Woes

Study finds we're distracted, perform mental tasks poorly when kept from phone
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2015 8:25 AM CST

(Newser) – If being unable to answer your nearby buzzing smartphone has ever driven you a little batty, you're not the only one. Researchers explored the impact of iPhone separation on users taking simple word-search puzzles, and they report in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication that the effects of being separated from one's phone turns out to be both psychological and physiological. What's more, the stress of being without one's phone "can negatively impact performance on mental tasks," the head author of the study says in a University of Missouri news release.

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He continues: "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." The researchers found that the drop in puzzle performance, as well as the jump in blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety, are all "significant." The solution isn't exactly what you might think: Keep your phone close when completing tasks that involve a lot of attention, or so they suggest. (Last fall, the first case of Google Glass addiction was reported.)

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