The dangers of mobile phones ("brain burners!") and Wi-Fi (child killer!") are much debated. A new study suggests that using a mobile phone – be it a seven-year-old Nokia or Apple's iPhone – makes you stupid; stupider than someone who owns a seven-year-old Nokia handset, and even stupider than someone willing to commit to spending £900 on a long-term iPhone contract. That's stupid.
But don't think that this latest study makes any more sense than all the others – quite the opposite.
On reading the study's findings, I can't see what it means at all. And that's not because the finding, which employed an epidemiological approach, were measured in terms of "quantitative results of electroencephalographic studies and assessments of neuropsychological functions".
Maybe I've been using my mobile phone too much, but it seems to make no sense at all.
Apparently, frequent mobile phone users demonstrated slowed brain function. Fair enough, but the reported slowed brain effects are actually considered within "normal brain functioning".
So what else did the study discover. Frequent users scored higher on ratings as extroverts and were found to be less open-minded.
Surely introverts are less open-minded than extroverts?
The study also found that frequent users are better able than others to focus their attention. But this contradicts the other finding that they're, well, slow.
The researchers also cited other studies on the short-term effects of mobile phone use. Some of these showed that frequent users of mobile phones improved their scores on cognitive tests. They had faster metabolic activity and thus faster reaction times.
So frequent mobile phone users are slow, fast, extrovert introverts.
Methinks the researchers should turn their microscopes on themselves, instead of calling us stupid.