5 reasons to put down your smartphone in 2018

It is estimated that the typical cell phone user touches their phone a staggering 2,617 times a day, which has been found to reduce productivity, cause anxiety and social media envy. In a technology and education first, Hold (www.holdstudent.com), an app that rewards students for not being distracted by their mobile phone, has announced a pilot partnership with University College London – allowing its students to be the first to trial the app, gain rewards and eventually, improve grades and productivity. Below, is some additional information about Hold, as well as the angles that we are currently developing:

Launched in Norway in 2016, Hold is now used by 40% of all Norwegian students 

Hold offers rewards to students for not using their mobile phones, from Amazon vouchers, to cinema tickets, free coffees and even scholarship money

A 2015 study by the University of California Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully regain focus on a task following an interruption



Maths Mathisen, CEO and Co-Founder of Hold (www.holdstudent.com), comments:

Improves productivity

 Numerous studies have been conducted on the effect of smartphones and productivity. For example, a 2017 study by the University of Texas, found that smartphones have a ‘brain drain’ effect, as they can affect intelligence and attention span, just by being on the participant’s desk. Similarly, the University of California Irvine found that if we get distracted from a task by a mobile phone notification, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully regain our focus. All of which suggests that smartphones, while fundamental to day-to-day life, are detrimental when it comes to being productive.

Leads to better conversations

Of course, smartphones are essential for helping us stay in touch, especially with friends and family who might be far away, meaning that a phone call or text message can be invaluable. However, if you are meeting friends for a coffee, or having a family dinner, a mobile phone can actually reduce the quality of your conversation. A study by the Virginia Tech University found that even the presence of a smartphone can have a negative impact on one-on-one conversation, as it provides a constant distraction.

Makes for healthier relationships

If you ever find that your significant other is on the phone, even when they are meant to be enjoying a nice evening with you, they might be ‘pphubbing’ (partner phone snubbing) you. The term was coined during a study by Baylor University, which found that out of the surveyed adults, 46% were being ‘pphubbed’ by their partner. It is a good idea to make it a rule not to have your phone on the table when the two of you are having dinner, and you might find that you enjoy each other’s company a lot more.

Gives your memory a boost

 Many of us might find ourselves working on something and just wanting a short break, so we reach for our smartphones and begin to scroll through social media. However, refreshing your newsfeed and browsing Instagram is actually proven to impact your memory. Scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden found that as we browse social media, the brain becomes overwhelmed with information, which makes it harder to keep track of things that you are meant to remember.

Helps you sleep

 It is well-documented that the light from your mobile phone increases the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep every night. However, a study by Murdoch University in Perth found that late-night text message and browsing could reduce the quality of sleep, result in depressive moods and even lowers our self-esteem.

How ignoring your phone can boost productivity and make you more creative


Listening to your thoughts

When you are working on a project, or a problem, you might find that you can’t figure out a solution, no matter how hard you try. Instead of turning to your mobile phone for a distraction when this happens, a study by University of California at Santa Barbara suggests that letting your mind wander for a few minutes can actually help you come up with a solution, as your mind isn’t distracted or overwhelmed with information.

Fewer distractions

By not having your phone on, or in front of you, you minimise the amount of distractions around you, allowing you to focus on your work. In fact, it might take you less time to finish an assignment, as you will be significantly more productive. Research by University of California Irvine found that it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain our focus after an interruption.

Outpouring of creativity

Our productivity can essentially be divided into two parts – creating and consuming. When we are on our phones, surrounded by social media, updates and notifications, we are consuming information. However, when we focus on the work in front of us, working on an essay or task, we are creating. Research has been done to prove that multitasking is difficult for the brain and reduces creative output, so make sure to put your phone down if you are working on something creative.

Less stress

According to a study by the University of Illinois, constantly checking social media has been linked to feeling more stressed, especially as we compare our lives ot the ‘perfect’ lives of others on social media. While we study or work, someone else might be enjoying a long holiday, or going out with friends, leaving us feeling left out and stressed. However, when you unplug from your phone, the feelings of stress will ebb away and you will be able to better focus,, producing work to a higher standard as a result.

For more information visit www.holdstudent.com