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The Negative Effects of Phone Use

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With over 6 billion people across the globe having access to cell phones, the impact of cell phones appears to be ignored by the general public. Cell phones have altered people’s ability to learn, communicate, share information, advertise, shop, acquire news and get directions. Some of the results of living in this age of information carry serious physical and psychological ramifications.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Comprehensive Psychiatry found 7th graders with internet usage more than an hour a day showed accelerated depression, hostility and social anxiety. The constant checking of phones and the need to obtain information immediately may be a result of that social anxiety. The depression may be caused by a decreased amount of time spent outdoors and the monitoring of other people on social media. On social media, people generally try to portray themselves in a perfect light, and when a 7th grader is seeing everyone’s “perfect life,” it can cause depression because they may feel like their life isn’t as exciting.

The Pew Research Center found that hyper-texters (teens who send over 120 texts a day) are 40 percent more likely to use illegal drugs, twice as likely to drink alcohol, three and a half times more likely to have sex before turning 18 and of those, 90 percent are more likely to have four or more sex partners and do worse in school than their non hyper-texting counterparts. Iowa State University conducted a study that found people who are exposed to two or more hours of screen time are twice as likely to develop attention problems.

The psychological ramifications of cell phones are harming the new generation who has had access to this new technology since a young age. Cell phones play a large role in the rising rate of depression, anxiety and attention disorder in children. Parents must do their job and step in to limit phone use of their children, the government must step in to regulate how technology companies market their product to minors and teens must do their research and learn about the consequences of being glued to a cell phone.

Aside from psychological consequences, cell phones are potentially negatively affecting the body. In 2011, the National Institute of Health found that only 50 minutes of cell phone radiation exposure can result in an increased activity of brain cells. The World Health Organization concluded that cell phone use over ten years doubles the rate of a brain glioma, a type of brain tumor. All things considered, it is imperative that there is added regulation on cell phones due to their emissions of radio waves which are absorbed by the nearest tissue to the phone, potentially leading to cancer or altering of cells.

Along with the harm to the mind and body, cell phones are affecting our daily relationships with other people. It is extremely rude to be on your phone when having a conversation with someone else; however, it seems to be widespread in today’s society. There are less words spoken today and more words texted or emailed than in the past; this leads to social awkwardness, and according to Carnegie Mellon University, loneliness and the loss of real world friends.

It’s time to kick our bad habits and free ourselves from the grip of cell phones. Write a letter to someone instead of sending a text or email, visit your friend’s house instead of video calling and obtain your news through a newspaper instead of social media outlets. A detox from technology will lead to a happier, healthy and more focused lifestyle.

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The Negative Effects of Phone Use