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Smartphonrs Hurting the Younger Generation

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Everyone has been in that position where they are trying to have a nice conversation with a friend over lunch, or while hanging out together, and the friend is just plugged into his/her phone the whole time and no word is getting through edgewise. Every time a question is asked to the friend, he/she only answers with an “uh-huh”, a “yeah”, or doesn’t answer at all. May as well be talking to a brick wall, right? A lot of people spend majority of their time texting, on social media, or playing games on their phones while there is a whole room full of people to talk to and things to do that are well worth their time. They lose the chance of making new friends, and deeper connections with the people they already know. Most people who are like this, more plugged into their phones than the world, got their phones at a young age. The most meaningful relationships are made “face-to-face” not “face-to-phone.” Children and teenagers should focus on creating “real-life” relationships instead of concentrating on “electronic” relationships.

People opposing to this idea may say, taking away smart phones from young people won’t stop all of them from still becoming reclusive later in life with other technology. Although, taking smartphones away from young people will make majority of them realize that they can, in fact, live without one. Also, they may realize how much closer they can get to the people around them, when talking face to face, and the other things they can do besides posting pictures on social media or playing games on their phones. Yes, they still have other portable technology, but who wants to lug a laptop or an iPad around everywhere they go?

It would be and feel really weird and awkward to pull a laptop or ipad out at a restaurant just to check facebook or e-mail someone. Doing this will also benefit future generations when they begin to make friends and when exploring their interests. There is also the fact that younger people may need their smartphones to contact and keep up relationships with their far away friends and/or family members. Why were phones originally created? It was created for the purpose of people contacting other people living far away by calling them. Calling their friends and family would be a much better way of keeping connected because they can actually hear their voices and the emotions and such from it. They can keep their relationships with them stronger by doing this. Also, there are other people in the area that they live in, hopefully, so they can just go out and make new friends and build new, healthy relationships with them.

The reason why many young people begin to disconnect with society after receiving their smartphones is because it’s an easier way for young people, or any aged person, to communicate; there are no emotions or expressions to be seen or felt, so no need for anyone to feel nervous talking to someone, but the issue isn’t just their emotions, it is also their fear too, “ Alex Pratt, the youth pastor at The Assembly in West Monroe, LA informed me that teens are consumed by insecurity. They are constantly worried about what someone else will say or think about them. It’s that fear that makes face to face conversation violently uncomfortable for them. They prefer the opportunity that texting gives them, to read and respond. The problem with this format is that it (along with social media outlets) has created a socially deficient generation. They are increasingly unable to verbally communicate effectively. However, texting isn’t inherently bad; it’s just the effect of a cause called insecurity.

Until a teen becomes confident and secure in who they are, they will continue to struggle with insecurity. In his experience, the best way for a student to rid themselves of the ills of insecurity, lies in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In that relationship they will find genuine love and acceptance. He has had the privilege to personally watch this transformation in countless young people.” (Pratt) The mix of emotions and fear along with access to smartphones is a concoction for a socially deficient generation, but if you take away the smartphones, you give young people the opportunity to work on handling their emotions with other people, and to work on getting through/over their fear of communicating with someone face to face. Also, not giving young people smart phones will improve their chances of connecting and creating relationships with the people around them.

Smartphones are detrimental for the young generations because it ruins their chances of developing relationships and connecting with the people around them, the outside world, and with themselves too. In the second episode of the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World, written and directed by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly, “Riley (a young girl with a smartphone) is texting a boy she really likes, Lucas. They are both literally five feet away from each other. Maya, Riley’s best friend and who doesn’t own a smartphone, tries to get her to go over there and talk to him but her nerves take over and they both continue to text. It is only when their teacher (Riley’s father) gives them an assignment to present a report on whether or not new technology has made them better people, but without any technology and he takes away all of their cell phones for the duration of the assignment.

Riley is partnered with Lucas, and as they begin to work on the project together at the library, they begin to talk and a connection between them begins. Riley then realizes how much closer she can get to people when talking to them face to face. Now Maya, she didn’t have any issues with this assignment because she never had a smartphone in the first place. Even though she had a flip-phone, without it, she discovered a skill that she had, drawing.” (Girl Meets Boy) Maya was the only one who didn’t have an issue, or trouble with the assignment because she was the only young person in her class without a smartphone. Riley and Lucus both had smartphones, and before they got the assignment, their smartphones were their only way of communicating with each other. Without their smartphones, Riley and Lucas developed a connection with each other. Maya, even though she only had a flip-phone, also discovered something new about herself. Smartphones can seriously put a hold on connecting with the world. This issue doesn’t only put a limit on building relationships, but it also destroys relationships.

It is rude and disrespectful when one person is texting while another person is trying to talk to them. By doing this, it can damage already made relationships. People are only comfortable with other people that listen to them, especially when a listening ear is urgently requisite. “Hannah Travis, a 17 year old girl, was trying to tell her best friend, who got her first smartphone at the age of 10, about something that had happened to her, but her best friend just kept texting on her phone. It had hurt her feelings because she didn’t feel like what she was saying was important to her best friend.” (Travis) Owning a smartphone at a young age may keep people in touch with the “friends” in their phone, but at the same time will keep them out of touch with their real friends and family. People then begin to become so attached to their smartphones, that it can be dangerous to their health.

The younger generation is addicted to their smartphones. They are so addicted that they treat their smartphones like it is an actual appendage of their body that they need at every minute and second of the day. When being separated from their smartphones for even just a second, they treat it as if one of their limbs just got ripped off. In a research article written by Richard Alleyne, he states that “Young people get so addicted to their smartphones that it evokes similar feelings to the ‘phantom limb’ syndrome suffered by amputees. Many young people reported mental and physical symptoms of distress and ’employed the rhetoric of addiction, dependency and depression,’ when reporting their experiences of trying to go unplugged for a full day. In effect, cell phones have become this generation’s security blanket.

They all used virtually the same words to describe their reactions, including: fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery and paranoid.” (Alleyne) This is serious. Young people getting attached to their smartphones like this can be a serious health risk for children mentally and also physically too. In a term paper posted on the StudyMode website stated, “Kids, ages 6-13, health is affected from the use of mobile phones because it contains magnetic waves. Magnetic waves are dangerous to humans, especially young children whose immune systems aren’t fully developed yet. They might suffer a severe disease such as brain cancer.” (The Disadvantages of Mobile Phones for Children) The fact that a smartphone can hurt a person so severely like this is terrible and sad.

This is preventable, by just simply not letting young people have smartphones, this way they are prevented from getting so attached to them or develop a disease. Taking them away will save the social lives and health of all children, only from the hurt smartphones can give them. By acting on this proposal, the younger generation will become more respectful of each other and their feelings. There would be more empathetic people and more appreciation for each other. Also, young people will get the chance of handling their emotions and insecurity when talking to someone face to face, thus giving them the chance of improving their communication skills. By not acting upon this issue, the younger generations will continue to slowly separate from each other.

They will continue to lose the feelings and empathy acquired before they were introduced to their smartphones. The only thing that will be holding them together will be this thin piece of string (texting, social media, etc.) that could break at any point. Giving younger people smartphones can be detrimental to their health because they become so addicted to them that a single second of separation puts them in a state of depression. Encouraging this proposal will be a start for the younger generations and society to become united. It all starts with one, single small step, and this is it.

Works Cited

Alleyne, Richard. “The young generation are ‘addicted’ to mobile phones.” The Telegraph. N.p., 2014. 16 July 2014. “Girl Meets Boy.” Girl Meets World. Writ., Dir., Michael Jacobs and April Kelly. Disney Channel. 11 June 2014. Television. Pratt, Alex. Personal Interview. 16 July 2014.

“The Disadvantages of Mobile Phones for Children.” StudyMode. N.p., 25 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 July 2014.
Travis, Hannah. Personal Interview. 16 July 2014.

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