There have been several studies released that suggest that as people use their cell phones more they become dependent on them. Separating them from their cell phone creates anxiety and stress. Michelle Hackman, a teenager from Great Neck, N.Y wanted to put those studies to the test for the annual Intel Science Talent Search by studying what happens when you take cell phones away from teenagers.
In an interview with NPR Hackman told the reporter,
I found addictive tendencies in my subjects. They almost went through withdrawal symptoms. And the way that I like to explain that is that cell phones and other sorts of technology are very inherently stimulating. And so when you take them away, a kid becomes under-simulated and almost doesnt know how to entertain himself.
Hackman used a biofeedback meter to monitor her test subjects while they were with and without their cell phones. During the process she had a team of students helping her compile the results, she needed the help because she is blind.
The study won Michelle second place and a $75,000 college scholarship from Intel, she was beat by Evan O’Dorney a teenager from Danville, California. Evan worked on a project where he compared two ways to estimate the square root of an integer and then created a process which found when one way was faster at solving the equation over the other. As a byproduct of his research he solved equations useful for encrypting data. Evan won a $100,000 college scholarship.