Feature image credit: Flickr
For many of you, the blissful summer holidays are drawing ever closer. Picture it now: six weeks of freedom. Three months if you’re a uni student. Whatever you’ve managed to panic-book at the last minute if you’re in work. Beautiful.
Sadly, if you are still in formal education then the proximity of summer also signals the even greater proximity of exams. As not all heroes wear capes, we at Ummahsonic have spent the past few weeks offering tips on maximising your exam success. To start, we told you to get revising early; then we suggested you stay active. Last week, we sagely recommended not eating total garbage during revision time. After easing you into it with those three, we’re now dropping the most brutal advice yet.
Get off your phone.
Yep. Sorry. Believe it or not, excessive phone use can wreak havoc on your revision schedule and potential exam results. Here’s why:
They Cripple Concentration
Before the invention of smartphones, a 2005 study found that office workers took an average of 25 minutes to refocus on a task after they’d been distracted from it by email, a text, or whatever distracted people on the internet 12 years ago.
Now, if digital relics like Myspace and SMS messaging were busting attention spans back in 2005, imagine how sensitive our concentration is in the smartphone era. If it still takes 25 minutes to refocus on a task after a distraction in 2017, then most of us probably check Instagram 12 times before those 25 minutes are even up.
In fact, research recently found that the mere presence of a phone was enough to distract students from their studies. That’s right: the smartphone doesn’t even need to be on to cripple your concentration.
They Ramp up the FOMO
FOMO = Fear of missing out.
Smartphones are great. They let you call people and look at the internet without a computer and stuff. However, more than almost anything, they totally convince you that everyone on your friends list is having 1,000,000,000 times more fun than you at any given moment.
This means you’re more likely to flick through your phone’s Facebook app when you should be memorising the difference between sin, cos and tan for your Maths GCSE.
They Help Us Procrastinate
Even though procrastination has existed ever since humans have had to complete complicated, boring or arbitrary tasks, smartphones have turned time wasting into a whole new beast.
Before WiFi and 4G, procrastination involved having to find something to distract you from your obligations. Now you just reach into your pocket.
They Can Lead to Stress
Excessive smartphone use has been linked to anxiety, frustration, impatience and irritation. On top of this, the glow from your phone’s screen suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This means if you’re snapchatting before bed, you might struggle to nod off.
Both of these factors can’t be good for your stress levels – and exams are stressful enough as it is.
Finally, They Might Even Mess up Your Marks
The above factors relate more to revision than your actual marks. Who knows? Maybe you’ll do none of the above and still pass with flying colours? But be warned, a recent study discovered that students who spend more time on their phones generally receive poorer marks than students who use their phones less frequently.
Maybe switch on airplane mode and stick it in a drawer when it comes to revision time.