by

December 7, 2022

 

Cell Phone Horns

In the document “Cell Phone Horns” i learned that Last month, a story hit the news that scared a lot of people. It described a certain deformity that can occur in young peoples’ skulls when they spend too much time looking down at their cell phones.

Specifically, an Australian study claimed that teens and young adults who often have their heads bent over their phones develop bone spurs at the back of their skull, just above the neck, that resemble horns, due to the weight of their heads being thrust unnaturally forward.

Other scientists are quick to point out that just because a researcher could benefit financially from his or her findings doesn’t mean that the research itself doesn’t have merit. In fact, the overuse of modern technology, especially cell phones, has led to all kinds of physiological changes in our body, from posture problems to attention disorders to “texting thumb.”

What Do You Think? Based on what you’ve read in this article and heard on the news, are you concerned about the physical effects that excessive cell phone usage could have on your health?


Is Your Cellphone Draining Your Intelligence?

In the article, “Are smartphones Making Us Stupid?” there’s a debate between two technology experts Andrew Keen and David Weinberger based on how phones have affected us. Mr. Keen believes that smartphones are making us stupid because most of us don’t use them smartly. We have technology on our hands but don’t use it for learning purposes instead invest our time on social media tweeting about our lives. On the other hand, Mr. Weinberger believes that cellphones don’t make us stupid as they have made a great impact on society.  “Never in history have we had so much access to ideas, information, and creativity.” Having the access to our cell phones allows us to learn more information surfing through the web and communicating with others as we gain new ideas. 

 Personally I think cellphones are a big distraction as sometimes we are connected more to our electronics than the real world around us. This has led to less social human interaction because we can now communicate with others through our phones whether it’s from social media or a text message. I think I can live without my phone because I just use it for entertainment purposes, but it’s important to have in case of an emergency. Although there are other people that rely on their phones at all times, and in some cases, it’s even an addiction. 

Do you think we should limit ourselves from our cell phones?


Will the omnipresence of media and the constant bombardment of notifications today lead to a damaged future?

      Nowadays it would be hard to argue against the claim that technology is very prevalent in our society. You can see it everywhere, from smartphones, to cars, to machines. Some of these things, such as household appliances and transportation, can help make our lives easier. But other technological advances are negatively impacting many people, and will eventually negatively impact our world in the future. Some of these impacts are direct, such as AI replacing human labor and people losing their jobs. But other impacts are indirect. The biggest and the most important issue is the youth’s addiction to their phones.

      It is shocking to think of how much technology has advanced in just the last few decades. “While in the early period of human history, the pace of technological progress was relatively slow, the success of today’s companies is strongly defined by time-to-market and state-of-the-artness.” (https://hackernoon.com/the-omnipresence-of-ai-and-an-intelligent-it-consultant-made-in-france-93074320b64d). Technology is accelerating quickly, and our lives have become dependent on it. We use it to wake ourselves up in the morning. We use it to heat our food. We use it to get to work or to school. We use it to set reminders for ourselves, or to store important dates and information. We use it to do research. We use it to communicate. All that and more. It is everywhere, so it is no surprise that it will have some negative impacts alongside all the positives. But the real question is how much we are going to let these impacts threaten our future generations.

      With the mention of negative impacts, one of them is the loss/replacement of jobs. With the arrival of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, it is not difficult to see the increase in the presence of artificial intelligence in our lives. However, many people predict that AI will eventually replace many jobs and leave people unemployed. “Realizing to what extent AI could replace human labor, can be extremely frightening” (https://hackernoon.com/the-omnipresence-of-ai-and-an-intelligent-it-consultant-made-in-france-93074320b64d). An even bigger issue that I think should be addressed is teenagers’ addiction to their phones. This omnipresent of technology and popularity of cell phones and social media has caused many people, mostly teenagers, to be so dependent on their phones that it negatively impacts their lives, their studies and their ability to think for themselves. “A 2016 survey from Common Sense Media found that half of teenagers felt addicted to their devices, and 78 percent checked their devices at least hourly. Seventy-two percent of teens felt pressured to respond immediately to texts, notifications and social media messaging” (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/well/family/is-your-child-a-phone-addict.html). This creates a real problem because not only does it waste their time and impede their social skills, it also takes away from their studies. This cartoon summarizes very well what our future is leading up to: https://www.boldbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/the-future-of-smartphone-addiction-cartoon.jpg. It shows how we are becoming oblivious to what is going on around us, and are refraining from expressing our emotions, instead resorting to emojis and texts.

      Teenagers’ addiction to their cell phones not only affects them individually, but it affects our future. They are the next generation that will run this country and the world. If they become lazy, unable to property communicate or express their thoughts, and constantly distracted, that could mean horrible things eventually. This is why this problem must be solved. It is unreasonable to say that it would be possible to stop teenagers from using the Internet and social media all together. However, by raising awareness of the negative impacts of constant cell phone usage and the benefits of restricting it, we could hopefully encourage people to lessen their time and usage of technology. One important way to do this is to keep track of your screen time. Apple has come up with a new feature that notifies people of their average daily screen time, and informs them whether their average that week had increased or decreased based on the week before. People should be aware of that and set a goal for themselves. For example, aim to decrease their average screen time each week until they reach a reasonable point, then try to maintain that. Another solution is to encourage people to challenge each other and their friends to spend less time on their phones. For example, when they go out to eat or are just hanging out, they can challenge everyone to set their phones aside and not look at it the whole time. If someone does, there will be consequences.

      In conclusion, helping teens understand the importance of limiting their time on their phones would be extremely beneficial to everyone. Solving the problem of excessive technology usage might be difficult and many might be reluctant, but hopefully they can understand that doing so would help not only themselves, but our world.


How Does Cell Phone Use Affect Our Health?

Handheld technology certainly has its pros and cons. The pros include easy communication, access to news, a platform for change, and much more. However, there are some significant cons to cell phones concerning your health. Both mentally and physically, use of cell phones can be taking a bigger toll on you than you realize.

Mentally, new research is coming out that found a correlation between excessive cell phone use and anxiety and depression. A team from the University of Illinois wanted to see the influence that high levels of engagement with the Internet and cell phones have on college-age people. They “surveyed over 300 university students with questionnaires that addressed the students’ mental health, level and manner of cellphone and Internet use, and motivations for turning to their electronic devices. Questions included: ‘Do you think that your academic or work performance has been negatively affected by your cell phone use?” and “Do you think that life without the Internet is boring, empty and sad?’” They found that people who said they were addicted to social media scored much higher on anxiety and depression scales. Also, they discovered that those who use technology as a means of escape rather than a way to combat boredom scored high on these scales. Another similar study found a link between overuse of phones, depression, and anxiety and having fear of missing out and a need for touch. They also scored higher on depression and anxiety scales due to lack of or a description of social activities from being addicted to your phone.

Physically, phones can have a direct negative impact on eyesight, posture, and hearing. Cell phones are also well-known to harbor germs. In a London study, a team sampled near 400 cell phones and hands to measure levels of bacteria. The results shows that “92% of phones had bacteria and 82% of hands had bacteria, including E. Coli.” Obviously, bacteria is easily transferred between hands and phones, making it very easy to get sick and spread the bacteria to other people or areas of the body. Constant phone use can also take a toll on your hands. Rapid message response can lead to pain and inflammation of the joints as well as discomfort or minor strain injuries in the thumbs.

Mobile devices also take a toll on your sleep, which negatively affects both your mental and physical health. As we all known, sleep is extremely important for all aspects of people, including socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Keeping your phone in or near your bed increases the temptation to check it late at night, when you should be relaxing and winding down. Using your phone at this time suppresses melatonin due to the harsh blue light, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Phones can also disturb your sleep with constant notifications, leading up to an hour of lost sleep as well as a lower quality of sleep. This severely impacts your body’s natural sleep cycle. People who use their phones in bed are also at a higher risk of insomnia.

Although technology is full of good purposes, there are some health issues associated with extreme use, too. Reflect on your use of cell phones to make sure you are doing what you can to increase your quality of life and limiting these negative mental and physical effects cell phones may have.


Where Has Our Reality Gone?

The technological advances in the 21st century have been monumental, but have they been necessary? In today’s world, especially in America, society has been caught up in social media advances, trying to keep up with viral news and distracting videos. A false reality has been created in sites including Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and many more. These platforms have found their way into almost everyone’s daily life in America. “As of 2016, 78 percent of the United States population had a social networking profile”,creating false perceptions, biases, and distorted views of reality.

One huge disadvantage to social media today is the perception of people’s “realities”. Social media users tend to stretch the truth or create unimaginable lives. Studies show that “up to 75% of people using social networks experience disrupted sleep in the evening hours after using them. And even worse is that half of users surveyed pointed out that social media made their self-esteem diminish and their lives seem less vibrant or even interesting because of the seeming perfection of their “friends” lives”. A “perfect” world has been created for users and their accounts to get away from actual reality and world events. This overuse of media outlets has grown so much that many young adults are beginning to turn to them as a source of validation and false reality.

Although social media has taken great strides in the recent years to transform the cyber world, there are still many kinks that have come along with it. These platforms need to focus on concepts of being less antisocial, creating a safe space, while also creating a reality where people can share true stories and realistic messages.


Has technology helped or harmed the development of the world?

Has technology helped or harmed the development of the world?

I believe that technology has helped AND harmed the development of the world. I think that the world has made great advances in medical technology because without it, many people would not have the resources that they need for their medical history. However, I also think that technology such as cell phones and laptops have created a divide in face to face communications. If we did not have cell phones, or used them like many due today, people would be forced to interact and have authentic conversations.

An article about the technological effects on humanity said, “Technology has helped in saving many innocent lives. Human medicine and health sciences have improved…extensive research has resulted into the development of new drugs, and treatments which have helped in curing most challenging human diseases and this has helped in saving so many lives and it has also prolonged the human lifespan.” Without the new technology and advances, the human race would not be where we are today. People would not live as long, or have the quality of life that we do.

However, another article listen major ways technology has harmed, not helped, humans. The first issue is that technology has brought on is the loss of jobs. Factory jobs are being taken over computers that can accomplish the job in half the time a person can. Second, technology takes away from face to face human reactions. Finally, our display of opinion online has limited our capacity to think because we are only allowed 140 characters to express our beliefs on current events.

So how can we fix this the negative aspects? First, if you feel the need to share your opinions online, make sure that it adds to the reader’s day in a positive way. Second, do not do things online that you can do in person.


Hyperconnected

We now live in an America where the vast majority of people have cell phones; a fact that many individuals have different opinions about. Some argue that cellphones distance people from face-to-face interaction and want to discourage the routine of frequent cell phone use. Whether this argument is valid or not should be based on the ability of the cell phone to enhance safety and foster communication between users. Cell phones do not limit the amount of interaction between individuals, but rather allow them to connect over long distances and communicate any needs that they may have instantly.

Without cell phones, an incredible number of people would be unable to keep in touch with their friends and family who are living a significant distance away. Instead of limiting communication, the wide availability of cell phones and cell service is keeping loved ones connected despite physical obstacles; something that would not be possible without them. How would you feel if you were unable to talk to your loved ones in other states or countries for an extended period of time?

The argument often made by the older American generations is that young people have become so absorbed in their cell phones that they are becoming isolated and detached, and, to some extent, they are correct. Face-to-face interaction is limited by the “average 6-plus hours a day” that young Americans spend on their cell phones. However, while these teenagers and adolescents are using their cell phones, they are still “hyperconnected.”  Today’s teens are more aware of national and global issues and events than any previous generation because they have constant access to social media and the internet via their cell phones.

Cell phones also make it possible for family members to contact one another in the event of an emergency. Whether it be that a person has been separated from a group, injured, stranded or simply confused, having a cell phone can instantly connect them to someone who can help solve their problem. Having a cell phone can, and has saved countless lives in emergency situations. In fact, according to a recent publication in the Journal of Emergency Medicine has found that “Patients are more likely to survive when emergency services are called from a mobile phone rather than a landline.”

Once people stop focusing on the negative aspects of such widespread cell phone use and take the time to recognize the numerous positive effects, then our nation can begin to embrace the evolution of technology and all of the benefits that it can bring.

Works Cited

Couperthwaite, Michelle J. “Technology Affecting Social Skills.” www.slideshare.net, LinkedIn        Corporation, 5 Dec. 2012,   www.slideshare.net/MichelleJCouperthwaite/technology-affecting-social-skills. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

“Mobile Phones Proven To Save Lives in Emergencies.” www.amta.org.au, AMTA, Nov. 2016, www.amta.org.au/articles/Mobile.phones.proven.to.save.lives.in.emergencies. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

Calvin College openURL resolver“The Hyperconnected Lifestyle: Teens and Technology.” www.drivingsales.com, DrivingSales News, 23 May 2013, www.drivingsales.com/news/the-hyperconnected-lifestyle-teens-and-technology-infographic/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Calvin College openURL resolver

Small Screens are Destroying Us

I keep thinking…

Why must the world be one so filled with conflict? From social media to harsh political commercials to harsh words yelled at a debate? I believe that one of the major stems of conflict that is plaguing our society is small screens. That’s right, the screens that have taken over our free time and the art of true conversations. Our televisions filled with violence, our laptop that we post on blogs about our emotions instead of facts, and, the most deadly of all, our cell phones that make our necks crane to the ground and our finger tips jump from letter to letter in response.

I’m not dumb enough to try and make a cry to tell everyone to abandon our devices of technology. Shoot, I’m using one right now and I can’t function without my cell phone. There’s no way that I’m getting rid of my small screens, but I do think that we need to advise ourselves of the power that they hold and to use them for betterment instead of negativity.

Instead of using these lovely gadgets for words, images, and tunes of love and harmony, they are now tools for bullying, hate groups, and comments that most people would never have the strength to say to someone face to face.

I can’t help but to keep thinking. Are small screens and help or a curse?

 

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/cell-phones/