Smartphone Addiction

Although smartphones may be convenient and an easy tool to find information, they can provide inaccurate information and can be extremely dangerous to a teen’s health. Smartphones are not only an extreme health concern but they can also lead to many other problems. Some of these include being damaging to relationships, addictive, and causing panicked feelings. Most people have watched a teen race around rapidly trying to find their phone, getting more and more panicked by the minute. They soon become stressed out and desperate to find their phone. The connection a teen has to their device very easily becomes an addiction, and may seem to be an item they couldn’t live without. Many American teens have a smartphone addiction, which could end up being a huge problem for them.

Many American teens spend an extensive amount of time on their smartphones. According to Pew Research Center “92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online ‘almost constantly’.” That means that the majority of teens are spending time on the internet every day, and a large amount of them are almost constantly on their phones. When teens are on their phones so much, it causes them to feel panicked without it. Huffington Post reports  “If in some catastrophic event they were to lose their device, 73 percent of people admit they would feel ‘panicked’ while another 14 percent would feel ‘desperate’.” This is getting to be a serious problem for teens. It is such a big issue that there has been a word created for it: nomophobia. Nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, is a serious problem.

Often, teens who have a phone addiction are perceived as rude. Huffington Post stated “When at a meal with someone else, 30 percent of participants say they check their phones.” If a teen checks their phone while eating dinner with another person, they’re probably not giving the person their eating with their full attention. They might not make eye contact, or could give very basic one word answers that show no deep thought or emotion. The person the teen is eating with may feel like the teen doesn’t care much about the conversation. This could appear to be rude, and lead to losing friends and other people they care about.

Not only does smart phone usage affect how others view teens, but it can also affect their health. According to TeenSafe “researchers discovered that people who use cell phones for a mere half an hour every day for ten years double their risk for brain cancer.” Considering many teens use their cell phones for much more time than that, this is very dangerous. If teens don’t stop this soon cancer could become very common and cause even more problems than it already is. The health of teens who use smartphones is definitely at risk.

Some people might argue that smartphones are a valuable and convenient tool for teens to find information. A teen could easily type a question right into a search engine on their phone and get an answer almost instantly. Rather than going through all the trouble of asking a teacher or looking something up in a book, they have an enormous amount of information at their fingertips. Also if a teen were to need information on a topic currently happening, they would be able to find much more recent information on the internet than in a book. This is because books need to go through a long process before they are published, while it is relatively easy to put something on the internet. While all of this is true, using a phone to get information could be risky. The first reason is that when teens use their phone to get information, they’re probably looking up things on the internet. There is a lot of false information on the internet making it hard to tell what is reliable and what isn’t. This could lead to major confusion, and a lower grade if it’s used for a school project. Another reason it’s risky is that if someone is completely relying on their phone for information, they would have some major issues if their phone were to die, break, or get lost. While using a smartphone to find information has its benefits, a safer route would be to use a book or ask a teacher.

When it comes to smartphone usage, the less the better. Although there are benefits like its convenience and ability to find information quickly, it’s not worth the risks. Too much smartphone usage could cause serious health risks and ruin relationships with friends, family, and other important people. Although completely giving up on smartphones might seem drastic and unnecessary, just limiting the time spent on a smartphone could help. American teens are better off using their smartphones as little as possible.