Your best friend’s birthday? Check Facebook. Directions? Fire up Waze. Want to tip 20%? Open your calculator app. Your smartphone makes these tasks and a zillion others nearly effortless. But more and more research suggests that this digitally lightened mental workload may be coming at a cost.
Relying on your phone or the Internet to lighten your mental workload is a lot like relying on a car—rather than your legs—to get you places, the latest research suggests. Driving is faster and easier than walking. But sitting in a car does your body little good. Likewise, media multitasking may be the cognitive equivalent of too much sedentary time./.../