How Smartphones are Changing Our Parental Instincts “Ping, ping, ping,” have you ever counted how many “pings” you hear, in one day, from your smartphone? Nowadays parents are more distracted by “pings” than ever. Working parents are constantly checking emails and taking phone calls, while stay-at-home parents are struggling to multitask and yet still feel connected to the outside world. This distraction comes in the form of a rectangular screen that magically connects us to anything and everything from work colleagues to a pot roast recipe, but this rectangular screen has taken its toll on our children. Parenting has taken a backseat in many households as children watch their role model’s glued to their smartphones.
With that being said, teens have no privacy using these sites because all it takes is looking up someone to see a lot of their personal information. A good amount of teens also use these social networking sites to harass and bully other teens. “In a 2013 opinion piece for the Huffington Post, Randy Taran, founder of the nonprofit Project Happiness, asserted the anonymity and lack of accountability on some social networking sites and apps “bring out the worst of human nature”(Rai, Komal and Gurpreet Gill). The teens that are “bringing out the worst of human nature” are doing this by following the teens home. When someone signs up for a social media site that teen is allowing everyone and anyone who has that social networking site to access them, allowing bullies to follow the teens and attack them while they are at home as well.
In Nicholas Carr’s article, “How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds” (November 10, 2017) Carr discusses the implications of allowing our smartphones to have such a huge effect on our lives. Smartphones serve many purposes, and have created massive societal effects throughout the world despite being introduced roughly only two decades ago. One can converse with anyone in the world at any given moment, they can watch any television show they want, and they can receive alerts so they no longer have to put effort into remembering things themselves. However, with so much control over people’s own lives, one begins to wonder about the negative consequences of the smartphones themselves. Carr brings up the question of how our minds can be negatively affected by this when he asks, “So what happens to our minds when we allow a single tool such dominion over our own perception and cognition?” While Carr is aware that the smartphone serves a countless number of useful purposes and tasks, he believes we should think deeper about the lesser known effects of our smartphones which people so easily allow to take over their lives.
Smartphones Are Hurting Our Kids Although smartphones have only been around for 30 years, it has become a crucial part of our life. With smartphones, we are able to connect with colleagues, teachers, friends, families, and even the outside world. We have instant access to countless information and continuous updates on current events and issues. However, our obsession with smartphones has a dark side. Research over the past few years has shown that smartphones are actually hurting people, specifically children.
Which they were correct, smartphones have many down sides. One of those down sides according to an article called 18 Essential Pros and Cons of Cell Phones is, cheating. I don’t know one teenager that doesn’t bring their phone to school which obviously makes it ten times easier to cheat on math science or language art tests. Like I said I don’t know any teen that doesn’t bring their phone to school because more than half of the teens are addicted to their smartphones. The idea of leaving their phones at home gives them too much anxiety to be able to focus on any homework.
A congress about finding the difficult balance is to take place with attendance of giants like Facebook and Google. In a second Guardian-article, “Teenagers and social networking - it might actually be good for them”, Clive Thompson expresses another view on online life, specifical-ly on teenagers’. In his opinion, newspapers print only the most shocking accounts. Whilst he finds it normal to worry, he points out that no studies have established a connection between use of social media and poor social skill, in fact the opposite correlation is found; teenagers, who spend more time on social media are more so-cial overall. He also maintains that social media teaches social rules, that teenag-ers tailor their online life to fit them, and that surprisingly few teenagers have been bullied online.
“Smartphone Addiction” It is with no doubt that one of the greatest creation of technology by mankind is the smartphone. Smartphones have brought about a drastic change to our lifestyle having a big impact on our day to day lives. But the people’s limitless obsession towards smartphones has led to what we call “smartphone addiction”. Smartphone addiction is causing serious health problems both physically and psychologically to all ages of people from children to teenagers to adults. Our excessive usage of smartphones has made us overlook the negative effects of the addiction.
20% of youths that have faced cyberbullying have thought about suicide (Arvig, 2017). 42% of youth report that what they see and read on social media directly influences how they feel emotionally and physically and how they think (Patel o Contributor, 2018). Mr. Lynch stated, "when being a teenager in the Baby Boomers generation there was no such thing about cyber bullying, the only type of bullying was physical and the closest you could get to 'cyber' bullying was ringing someone on the fixed home phone". Bullying peaks in middle school and 81% of teenagers state that bullying online is easier to not get caught doing (Arvig, 2017). According to a study, 25% of youths from Generation Z admitted to having written negative comments online about teenagers they know (Stein, 2016).
Cell Phones: The average teenager who gets on their phone, just for a second, each hour has the same mind as a 30 year old cocaine addict. Teens have their minds tricked into thinking they can’t live without their cell phones and social media. Teens need to be able to talk to and connect with others and learn face-to-face communication skills. Nowadays teens can get harmed very easily, and teens do not really know who is on the other side of the screen. Studies have shown that phones can ruin lives with the blink of an eye.
The generation we belong to, is subjected towards so much distraction because of the impacts of social media. My friends and I are exposed to so much information, we hardly find time to make meaningful contributions to our society. Unlike any other previous generations, especially the generation of the 1920s, when the Rotary Club was in its infancy, today's generation, especially high school students are distracted by the use of social media. In the era of smartphones and social media, every teenager, and in some cases even younger children get involved in conversations on social media apps to seek popularity and chase the 15 minutes of fame. With the easy accessibility and user-friendly apps, anyone who has access to a smartphone or a PC, can broadcast their viewpoints across the world instantaneously.