Smartphones became a considerable part of many lives after the 2007 first iPhone release. The first action most people do after waking up is opening their phone. In a similar way, smartphones are the last things people see before falling asleep. The breakthrough piece of technology slowly replaced watches, calendars, calculators, cameras, MP3 players, flashlights, and many other once everyday accessories and gadgets. Nowadays, debit and credit cards are also being replaced because of the PayPass system built into modern phones. Everything and anything can be accessed at the finger’s touch. Despite a number of benefits smartphones have provided for the current generation, I think that their creation and continued existence is detrimental to society.
With the appearance of smartphones, humans received many handy options for their lives, like the online connection with their family and friends, the ability to work only using their phones, etc. This has brought a lot of portability into the modern world, allowed both organizations and individual people to work efficiently in an increasingly interconnected global world. As a tool of communication, connection, and leisure, smartphones are practically irreplaceable. Their position in people’s lives became so strong that many use smartphones for other tasks of their day, such as driving a car.
However, with positive changes and comfort, shifts in the attitude and internal state of teenagers started to appear. As psychologist Jean Twenge states in her research about smartphones after the 2007th first iPhone release, there is a noticeable decline in the times teenagers go out with their parents. The reduction can be seen in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades. The social media life that smartphones opened for the world serves as a replacement for the real one for many teenagers worldwide. In Goldsmith’s work called “Wasting Time on the Internet,” he stated that many kids choose to see “family vacations through cameras, rather than actually living them” (107). Modern children can swipe and press the iPad’s screen to turn cartoons on even before they learn to talk. Smartphones are noticed to have a harmful influence on their mental health. Between 2007 and 2015 number of teens that often feel lonely or left out of things increased by ten percent (Twenge). Twenge goes as far as to declare that “the correlations between depression and smartphone use are strong enough to suggest that more parents should be telling their kids to put down their phones”. This showcases the many detriments smartphone use has brought for the individual, and, especially, kids.
People nowadays cannot imagine their lives without smartphones and the benefits they bring. That applies not only to teenagers but also to adults. The porn industry significantly impacted that change because it became free and more accessible for teenagers. In 2007 about thirty-five percent of teens slept less than seven hours most nights. In only eight years, the percentage rose to the number of forty and higher (Twenge). Forgetting phones at home makes people’s day unstructured and useless. Smartphones and other gadgets like tablets and laptops have already affected several generations of teenagers. The first one caught the appearance of these gadgets being children and got used to them, but there are teenagers that do not know life without them.
To conclude, even though smartphones remain innovative and provide even more possibilities with time, it is hard to overestimate their destructive effect on children and adults alike. Smartphones improve people’s lives, and assist with many daily tasks. Due to their prevalence, however, they also encroach on the foundations of good mental health and social living. Most of the time, children do not feel the edge and may become subjects to addiction. Smartphones and social media consume a big part of people’s time during the day. Many adults, similarly, find their workplace, industry or communication pathways affected by phones. In order to remedy the issue, here should be an active effort to minimize the negative impact of smartphone use, and limit their application in most spheres of people’s lives
Goldsmith, Kenneth. Wasting Time on the Internet. Harper Perennial, 2016.
Twenge, Jean. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”. The Atlantic, 2017.