Dear America: Phones are making you dumb

Put it down and look up


People are more plugged in to their phones then life

Connor Bennett, Staff Writer

Intelligence is the driving force of the human world. It’s the single root of our existence. Intelligence is what sets us apart from the rest of our ancestral cousins: bigger brains, smaller muscles.

In order to fully understand how intelligence works we have to understand where it came from. The beginning of the rise to greatness started with rather simple exploits which evolved with us as we got better and better at problem solving.

If people thought for themselves instead of getting their thoughts from online we might fix some of these problems

Due to how scattered humans were all across the world, developments ranged just as wide. Our geographical locations called for varying lifestyles. One coherent fact stood as a common interest in all parts of the world, though, and that was community. We opted to form groups and hunting parties where tactics and communications were used. The first people to recreate the sun were the same to tame the wild, culture food and livestock and form tribes. We crafted tools and inventions to make our lives easier. Intelligence grew until we had stone houses, roads and iron tools. Then we invented the wheel. With the coming of mathematics it seemed humankind would never slow down. Until we did.

The Flynn Effect is real, and this is a visual representation of it (

The Flynn Effect is a period of time in the 19th to 20th century where both crystalized and standardized intelligence gradually increased. From 1932 to 1978, the average IQ increased 3 points a decade; since then it has plummeted. There are tons of theories and speculations surrounding the dramatic decrease in IQ of the 20th century. As of 1975 it has dropped around 13.5%.

Some suspect it has to do with the rising use of pesticides, GMOs, and other harmful chemicals used by big corporations and farms to create more efficient means of production. This though is only a fraction of the cause for our decreasing brain power.

A study by the University of Texas found that the mere presence of smartphones during a test decreased cognitive performance and the ability to hold information. This can be confidently applied to real life where phones are almost always at a hands reach. 

The rates of depression, anxiety, and general mental health issues have gone up tenfold since the coming of smartphones. It seems people rely on their phones for everyday life to get around, remember things, and to answer all their questions. We can derive that the increased use of smartphones of the 20th century are the root cause of the decrease in intelligence.

Even when activities are going on, phones refuse to go away (Connor Bennett)

When we get into mental health and its connection to smartphones we dive into the effects of social media. Apps such as TikTok and Instagram have been proven to cause actual addiction as they supply your brain with easy, fast dopamine. Consistently scrolling through 30 second clips further reduces the attention span of users and overtime may inhibit short term memory and concentration. The last thing anyone wants is a generation of mindless zombies who can’t think for themselves much less form complex intellectual thoughts. What would something like that mean for the future of civilization?

The question is also held whether or not we’ve slowed down in important innovations or sped up. Over the last 10 years phones have been given consumer upgrades that hold no improvements but to make them more addicting and validating to buy,

The development of AI has gone up tenfold yet we still struggle with getting fresh food to people in the city, homelessness and addiction haven’t slowed down, and the political divide in the US is quite literally a two front war on ourselves. There are too many public opinions. If people thought for themselves instead of getting their thoughts from online we might fix some of these problems. If kids weren’t so focused on what will get them viral or the view we emit on social media maybe it could decrease the rate of high school dropouts. Or even better get kids who are surrounded by violent lifestyles more connections and proper guidance so they can have a chance.

If we weren’t worried about other people’s lives just because they’re famous we could improve our own lives.

Consistently scrolling through 30 second clips further reduces the attention span of users

Phones are a distraction to America, more so than most other countries. Everything you do is influenced by big corporations who feed into your distraction and addiction. Sports, news, social media, sugar, caffeine, any legal addictive substance, pharmacies, porn, video games, etc are all industries that adhere to addiction and validate our distraction.

America and the world needs to take a step back from electronics and focus more on the things that matter. We are burning away a gift given to us through evolution and its time to make a change for the better. Put your phone down and take a look at the changes it makes to your mental health and thought processes.