Your phone buzzes at work. You promised yourself you wouldn’t check your phone until you turn in your half-finished assignment that’s due in an hour, so you don’t. But you start to wonder — who is texting you? What does the text say? Your mind wanders.
A new study has found that even when we try to disregard a notification, just being aware of a new message distracts us enough to impair our concentration and hurt our performance. These distractions are equal to actively opening the notification on your mobile device.
A Gallup poll reveals that 81 percent of smartphone users keep their phone in close proximity “almost all the time during waking hours.” Depending on the volume of notifications users receive, keeping a phone so close could lead to a noticeably negative impact on work performance.
The study adds to the growing list of negative affects smartphones can have on users. Other effects include impaired sleep, increased pressure to communicate with friends and family, and the inability to detach from work.
Smartphones are only going to affect more and more individuals. The number of people who own a smartphone has increased from 35 percent in 2011 to 64 percent in April of this year. Among millennials, 84 percent report owning a smartphone.
As millennials begin to enter the workforce and the number of apps available for download increases, the potential for distraction only grows larger.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”