Effects of Cell Phone on Youth Essay Example
|📌Category:||Child development, Health, Mental health, Mobile Phones, Psychology, Social Issues|
|📌Published:||30 April 2022|
If you were to walk into a modern high school classroom while a class is in session, you would find cell phones everywhere: on students' desks, in their hands, held up to the teacher's ear, and so forth. This is a pandemic. While some people are blinded by the conveniences of the modern smart phone, the reality is they're doing far more harm than good. Adolescents, often being the first to use and adapt to new and exciting technology, happen to be the group most susceptible to negative effects stemming from this technology. Unregulated cell phone usage within minors has a significant negative impact on their mental health, has a negative impact on their education, and is ultimately killing them early.
The first topic I wish to touch upon is that cell phones are a danger to young people's mental health. It's no secret that two in three teens are addicted to social media, but what exactly is this addiction doing to their brains? According to a study conducted by JAMA Psychiatry between 2013 and 2016, adolescents who spend more than three hours per day on social media are at higher risk of developing mental health problems (JAMA Psychiatry). Unsurprisingly, teenage girls have been found to be at higher risk of psychological distress than boys. While these risks can be linked to the simple act of using social media, it often stems from the content held within the applications. Cyberbullying has been a problem since the dawn of social interactions on the internet, and it continues to worsen each day. Cyberbullying, just like any other form of bullying, can cause increased stress and anxiety, depression, and other long-term emotional effects. Additionally, social media can have a strong influence on a teenager's self-image. As they scroll through their feeds, they are constantly being shown so-called perfect people living their perfect lives, and tell themselves that they need to be like that. Thus, they set unrealistic standards for themselves, and consequently fall into a depression when they are unable to meet those standards.
My second topic to discuss is that cell phones are stalling young people's education. Aside from cell phone usage in class distracting them from lectures, the internet provides numerous shortcuts that students use to avoid studying. It's essentially the equivalent of having a magical book full of answers right in the palm of your hand, and we all know that cheating doesn't lead to learning. Beyond cheating, did you know that simply having a cell phone on your person can have a detrimental effect on your focus? A study published in the scientific journal Computers in Human Behavior found that "having a phone impairs attention and subsequent memory during lectures." In simpler terms, having a phone in your pocket causes your focus to shift away from the lecture and towards the little black rectangle shaped weapon of mass destruction.
The third major reason I believe cell phone usage needs to be regulated with minors is it’s killing them. Though it may sound extreme, cell phones and social media are causing early deaths in everyone, not just minors. I earlier mentioned cyberbullying, which can lead to hate crimes or even suicide. What if we look at the darkest outcomes of cell phones that most people try to ignore? Internet homicide is a term coined to describe murders that take place after the victim and perpetrator meet online. An article from the American Psychology Association about online predators states "In the N-JOV Study, 5% used threats or violence, mostly forcible or attempted rape. In at least one highly publicized Internet-initiated case, a 13-year-old girl was murdered." This article is from 2008, and only more and more murders have taken place with the rapid growth of social media in the last decade.
While it's true that cell phones can be convenient, we need to regulate how we use them. Adolescents often don't have the experience needed to analyze their own online habits, so we must take initiative and guide them away from digital addiction. Minors with unrestricted access to cell phones are more likely to have major mental health complications, poor grades as a result of convenience, and are susceptible to early deaths. Next time you see a group of teenagers in a restaurant or a shopping mall hovering over their phones, think about the toxicity that they are being exposed to. Imagine how different our upcoming generation of workers could be if we minimized their cell phone usage.