TheAdverse Effects of Phone Use
Amobile phone is perceivable as an electronic device that is used fordata communication and mobile voice over cell sites (Kumar, Chii,Way, Jetly, & Rajendaran, 2011, p. 406). Modern cell phones haveadditional features, in addition to the common voice purpose ofphones. Smartphones, for example, have features such as games,Internet access, navigation, messaging, and video recording andplaying (Demirci, Akgönül, & Akpinar, 2015, p. 85). These typesof phones have become increasingly popular in recent years. Studies(2015) reveal that over 1.5 billion people (globally) own asmartphone. Consequently, the issue of cell phone addiction hasbecome familiar. This type of addiction is hard to contextualizebecause it is related to the physical, social and psychologicalfactors. Nevertheless, the primary features of mobile phone addictioninclude decreased control over participating in cell phone use,sustained engagement in mobile phone use in spite of the associatedadverse effects, appetitive urges that come before the behavior, andcompulsive participation. Mobile phone addiction does not have aprecise definition, but it has been forwarded as the excessive use ofa cell phone, to the point that its use interrupts the user’s dailyroutine. Cell phones have been proven to have adverse impacts on thesocial lives, educational performance, and physical well-being ofstudents and teenagers.
Astudy conducted in 2015 revealed that four primary factorscharacterized addiction: withdrawal, the loss of control, craving,and negative life consequences (Foerster, Roser, Schoeni, &Röösli, 2015). Subsequently, peer dependence was advanced as thefifth factor, which was also perceived as the social component ofcell phone use. College students, on average, spend 9 hours per dayof their mobile phones (Demirci, Akgönül, & Akpinar, 2015, p.85). This behavior has been attributed to the increased functionalityof cell phones. Research carried out in South Korea revealed thatincidences of smartphone addiction (8.7%) were somewhat higher thanInternet addiction (7.7%). The same study also concluded that 11.4%of the individuals within the 11 to 20 age group and 10.4% of thepersons within the 20 to 30 age group suffer from smartphoneaddiction. Mostly, adults` schedules differ from those ofadolescents thus, they may be more susceptible to smartphoneaddiction. Excessive use of smartphones may result in physicalhealth-related ailments such as pain in the neck or wrists andblurred vision. Moreover, behavioral problems such as interferencewith real-life social interaction, maladaptive behavioraldifficulties, and interference in work or school may arise due tosmartphone addiction. Studies indicate that conditions such asdepression, trait anxiety, and state anxiety are more prevalent amongthe smartphone-addicted group compared to the healthy group.
Smartphoneaddiction has been linked with physical, behavioral, and educationalproblems. Cases of students and teenagers performing below average inschool, suffering health complications, and experiencing behavioralproblems due to excessive smartphone use have been documented in thepast years. In the same light, questions regarding the impact of cellphone use on the general wellbeing of students and teenagers havebeen raised. This research paper answers the following questions.
How do cell phones negatively affect the social lives of students and adolescents?
What negative impact do cell phones have on the educational performance of students and adolescents?
How do cell phones negatively affect the physical well-being of students and adolescents?
Thisstudy is important because cell phone addiction impacts a significantportion of the population. As indicated earlier, research revealsthat over 1.5 billion people own a smartphone (Demirci, Akgönül, &Akpinar, 2015, p. 85). Also, the study carried out in South Korearevealed that smartphone addiction (8.7%) was somewhat higher thanInternet addiction (7.7%). The same study also concluded that 11.4%of the individuals within the 11 to 20 age group and 10.4% of thepersons within the 20 to 30 age group suffer from smartphoneaddiction. Smartphone addiction has resulted in performances that arebelow average in school, health complications, and behavioralproblems. Addressing this issue has perplexed social workers due todifficulty in developing an accurate definition of smartphoneaddiction. Thus, this research paper puts this problem in context.
Astudy conducted in 2015 developed the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale(Foerster, Roser, Schoeni, & Röösli, 2015). The researchutilized data derived from 412 adolescents from the Swiss HealthEffects Related to Mobile phonE use in adolescentS cohort,abbreviated HERMES. Subsequently, a German version of the MobilePhone Problem Use Scale, which consisted 27 items, was summarized bythe Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The PCA derived its findingsfrom data gathered in 2012. The PCA results revealed that withdrawal,the loss of control, craving, and negative life consequences were allsymptoms of addiction. Also, peer dependence was advanced as thefifth factor, which was also perceived as the social component ofcell phone use. The shortened scale, labeled MPPUS-10, reflected theresults the initial MPPUS. The Cronbach alpha of the MPPUS-10 was0.85. Follow-up studies confirmed the findings of the study.
Inaddition to the above, a study that surveyed 800 Americans agedbetween 12 and 17 reveals that half of the teens in the group sent 50messages or more every day (Baron,2010, p. 3). Older teenage girls sent an average of 100 messages on adaily basis. On average, wireless subscribers in the US place 204voice calls per month and send or receive 357 text messages. However,the statistics that correspond to 18 to 24-year-olds reveals thatthey make an average of 265 voice calls and 790 texts per month.Individuals within the 13 to 17-year category were estimated to make231 voice calls and 1,742 voice calls per month.
Therise in the popularity of cell phones has led to an increase inconcerns regarding its use among young adults (Baron, 2010, p. 3).The biggest problem is multi-tasking. Studies reveal that themajority of students and adolescents text while attending a lecture,a business meeting, walking, crossing the street, and even driving.Some of these actions violate conventional norms while others elevateto become safety problems. In fact, concerns over the rising numbersof mobile phone-related cases have been reported (2010, p. 4). Peoplehave tripped into sidewalks, walked into lampposts, and even walkedinto oncoming traffic while using their cellphones. A connectionbetween cell phone use and mental anxiety has also been developed.Cases centering on the deterioration of social and familyrelationships have been revealed. An example in point is one whereface-to-face communication between two partners is interrupted by aphone call the party that is left waiting has been proven to feelbetrayed (2010, p. 6).
Thenegative impact of mobile phone use has also been attributed to adecline in the educational performance of adolescents and youngadults in institutions of learning (Goswami & Singh, 2016, p.71). The Gujarat Government, in 2008, outlawed the use of mobilephones in both schools and colleges, contending that the technologywas interfering with education activities. This move was informed byresearch findings, which asserted that excessive cell phone useresulted in restlessness, disrupted sleep, fatigue, and stress. Also,cell phone addiction has been linked to poor academic performance, inaddition to undesirable psychological behaviors.
Lastly,too much cell phone use results in the development of physiologicalailments like earaches, headaches, musculoskeletal problems, andfatigue (Goswami & Singh, 2016, p. 71). Phone use when drivinghas also been advanced as one of the leading causes of car accidents.Also, exposure to the Electromagnetic fields that are emitted bydigital cell phones results in sleep latency, Rapid Eye Movement(REM), and an increase in electroencephalogram spectral power (withinthe 11.5 – 12.25 Hz frequency range). Harmful radiations from cellphones have also been proven to cause a significant decline in thequality of sperm and mutations in the DNA.
Ina recap of the above discussion, smartphones have become increasinglypopular in recent years. Studies (2015) indicate that over 1.5billion people (globally) own a smartphone. Consequently, the issueof smartphone addiction has become familiar. Smartphone addiction canbe viewed as decreased control over smartphone use, sustainedengagement in the behavior in spite of the associated adverseeffects, appetitive urges that come before the behavior, andcompulsive participation. Smartphone addiction does not have aprecise definition, but it has been forwarded as the excessive use ofa smartphone, to the point that its use interrupts the user’s dailyroutine. Cell phones have been proven to have adverse impacts on thesocial lives, educational performance, and physical well-being ofstudents and teenagers.
Baron,N. (2010). The Dark Side of Mobile Phones, 3. Retrieved fromhttp://www.american.edu/cas/lfs/faculty-docs/upload/the-dark-side-of-mobile-phones.pdf
Demirci,K., Akgönül, M., & Akpinar, A. (2015). Relationship ofsmartphone use severity with sleep quality, depression, and anxietyin university students. JournalOf Behavioral Addictions, 4(2),85-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.4.2015.010
Foerster,M., Roser, K., Schoeni, A., & Röösli, M. (2015). Problematicmobile phone use in adolescents: derivation of a short scaleMPPUS-10. InternationalJournal Of Public Health, 60(2),277-286. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0660-4
Goswami,V. & Singh, D. (2016). Impact of mobile phone addiction onadolescent’s life: A literature review. InternationalJournal Of Home Science, 2(1),69 – 74. Retrieved fromhttp://www.homesciencejournal.com/archives/2016/vol2issue1/PartB/2-1-19.pdf
Kumar,L., Chii, K., Way, L., Jetly, Y., & Rajendaran, V. (2011).Awareness of mobile phone hazards among university students in aMalaysian medical school. Health, 03(07),406-415. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/health.2011.37068