Playing candy crush in class?
As of today, we have not found any direct proof stating that candy crush or any other similar game has a negative effect on our brain. We begin an innocent game of candy crush in the middle of class, university lecture, meeting at work or even a conversation with a friend, yet nothing is harming about it. For some of us, it’s actually helpful for concentration, until DING, we get a notification.
It may not be that candy crush itself makes for us to lose control in a lecture and therefore later seeing a decrease in our grades, but rather the fact that candy crush allows for a distraction which takes part on our smartphones, in which every minute we are surrounded with notifications. I find this very concerning because this ‘tool’ to concentrate that we call candy crush, while its surely doing that task, has many more distracted functions because its located on our phones with many distracting features.
I interviewed 75 people who participated in conferences, some were students, some not, regarding their candy crush use during lectures. When I asked them if they paid attention to the notifications that popped onto the screen, 89% of them answered yes. 46 people answered, “Of course”, with a muddled look on their face not understanding the relevancy of my question. The clear conclusion came to me that in we are on our smartphones playing a game, we are most likely going to engage in our notifications (emails, text messages, news alerts etc.). I take my conclusion and combine it with the most famous conclusion that exists today in psychology books regarding split attention that insist that there is no such things as the ability to read a text message and listen to a lecture at the same time. My conclusion is that we take out of phones in order to use it for something very innocent, not meaning to harm our participation in a meeting or class, rather to use it to better our concentration, not paying attention that we are not in a situation with the most likelihood to lose concentration. For those of us who believe that we have “self control” and can control to play while ignoring notifications, I tend to disagree due to research that shows that our brain has no capability of ignoring such notifications. It is neurological and has nothing to do with self-control.
On a side note: As a lecturer, I find it personally offensive to have participants in my audience take out their cellphones during a lecture as I cannot be aware of whether you are texting or playing a game.
As always, I will end off with easy and efficient tips about Tech Control. First, if you chose to play a game, put it on flight mode or turn off your data. Secondly, if you are a person who must play in order to concentrate, make a point to inform the lecturer that this is what you are doing ahead of time.