Whether sitting on a train or having dinner at a restaurant, many people find it hard to stop fiddling with their mobile phones – firing off a never-ending stream of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts.

If this online hyperactivity looks exhausting, it’s no surprise to discover that these high-frequency internet users find it much more difficult to pay attention to what’s going on around them than the rest of us – even when they are not consumed by the web.

New research finds that the most frequent mobile phone and internet users are the most likely to be distracted, for example by being prone to missing important appointments and daydreaming while having a conversation.

In the first study of its kind, an academic from Leicester’s De Montfort University has found that the more times a person uses the internet or their mobile phone, the more likely they are to experience “cognitive failures”.

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