The Importance of Cell Phone Addiction

By: Ethan Barmettler


    Cell Phones are the foundation of human society, we communicate with them, we search the web with them, and we post selfies with them.  Let me ask you, have you ever stopped and thought to yourself how much you actually use your cellphone? I didn’t.  A report from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization focused on helping children, says that an average teenager in the United States spends about 9 hours per day on their cell phone.  Lets think about that for a minute, most teens get about 7 to 7 ¼ hours of sleep every night, so an average teenager today spends more time on their phone per day, than asleep.  This issue has become known as cell phone addiction, a study done on 1,240 parents and their children ages 12 to 18, showed 59% of those teens suffered from cell phone addiction.  I don’t just believe it is a problem, I believe it affects society as a whole, and it will effect generations to come.  

I believe that the amount of time people spend on their cell phone has side effects, and it’s proven.  An article written by Ian Kerner, stated that couples spend more time on their cell phones, than with each other.  Then later stating that most people can’t go for more than an hour, without checking their cell phones.  Cellphone addiction has been known to cause nerve damage.  Conditions such as occipital neuralgia cause nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord to the scalp to be more compressed and inflamed due to looking down at a phone screen, causing migraines and back problems.  Anxiety and depression, a study done by Northwestern University stated that the more time you spend on your cell phone the more likely you are to be depressed or stressed.  The list goes on, cellphones are distractions, the National Safety Council reported that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million car crashes per year, 1 out of every 4 car accidents are caused by texting and driving.  A survey done in 2013 states that 63% of smartphone users ages 18 to 29 fall asleep with a smartphone or tablet in their beds.  Is there something wrong with that? Another study done in 2015 stated that the amount of caffeine in a double espresso has less of an effect on a sleep schedule than bright light exposure at night.

The growing epidemic of cell phone addiction seems unstoppable, but if we raise young children without the threat of cell phone addiction we may be able to fight this issue.  There isn’t a lot that can be done to stop the spread of the addiction, but people as individuals can try to use their cell phone less throughout the day, which can benefit their health, and lessen the likelihood of the side effects mentioned.  Nomophobia is a recent phobia that means that an individual has a fear of losing or being without their cell phone.  A survey done on 2,000 people in the U.K. resulted in 66% of those people suffer from Nomophobia, which was an 11% increase from the same study done four years earlier.  This has to be controlled, so I challenge anyone reading to see how long you can go without using your cell phone.  After all, I wrote this on mine.

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September 26, 2017 2:10 am

Dear Ethan, your article provides a lot of support for an argument that many take for face value, without any research. Teenagers, including myself, rely on our phones often as an escape. However, more commonly, it’s because we believe there is nothing better to do. True, we could interact socially, or invest in our intellect. However, nothing is more convenient than having the world crammed into a compact computer that fits very comfortably in our hands. We could do anything we would want to do without more than a few thumb taps. I’m not making excuses. Yes, this is a problem, but I’m trying to stay optimistic. I hope that as the I-generation matures, we will become less reliant on our devices.

April 2, 2017 11:31 am

there is a middle point… an app that will reward you for having the screen off -> Check it out!!!

March 25, 2017 8:50 pm

Hey Ethan!

Your piece was so informative and eye opening; I had no idea we spend more time on our phones than asleep in our beds! Like so many others before me, I too have noticed my own addiction to my phone. Earlier this year, I lost my phone for about 2 weeks, and during that time I had no way to check social media, aimlessly scroll through my camera roll, or go on Youtube. The amount of free time I had during those two weeks was crazy, and even though I was extremely relieved I found my phone, a little part of me wished I hadn’t found it.


March 25, 2017 4:17 am

Dear Ethan,
I agree with you that cell phones can be a huge distraction. I can relate to this because I use my phone a lot and it ends up being a huge distraction because most of the day I’m on my phone and not outside doing something else. I agree with you that cell phones distract us from learning more and going outside. But, then you do learn quite a bit on cell phones because you can search up information. But, overall I think most of the time we are really obsessed with cell phones because if we were to not use our cell phones then we would be bored and not do anything.

March 24, 2017 4:26 pm

Wow I learned a lot by reading this post. Although our cell phones can be very useful in helping us complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, they can be a huge distraction from the things that are truly important in life and they can also be very unhealthy, taking away from the time that should be spent sleeping.

March 24, 2017 1:13 am

Hi Ethan,
Thank you, I very much enjoyed reading this piece. I would certainly agree that cell phone addiction is a very relevant issue here and now, and I certainly cannot argue with the statistics that you presented. However, I do not believe that this is an issue that will affect future generations. Cell phones, and the internet are such an integral part of our society that we would probably revert back to the stone age were we to lose them. However, these technologies are very new, in fact, we are the first generation to come into a world where we already had the internet. Can you imagine having to do your homework solely by reading books????!!!!! However, the access that we have to almost constant communication has a darker side as well, but I do not believe that they have to do with the phones themselves, but with our society as a whole. Texting and driving is a massive epidemic, but I don’t really believe that cell phones are to blame for it. In the least insensitive manner possible, perhaps the only real culprit here is stupidity… It may be that our education system needs refinement, and perhaps more integration of these technologies into it. After all, the internet is, first and foremost, a repository of every single bit of information that humanity has yet come up with. Or perhaps, the device that we actually use to browse the internet could be refined. Perhaps it could become more integrated into our natural posture, so that we’re not bending over a screen all day. Whatever the case, I do not see this being an issue for future generations, because I believe the technology will grow and evolve enough that there will be no life outside for it to affect. There will no longer be “screen time,” there will just be “time.”

March 24, 2017 12:43 am

Ethan, I agree that cell phone can have major negative effects for high school students, but only if they are addicted to their phones. Using a phone nine hours a day is addiction and is a major problem. It is true that cell phones are also a huge cause for lack of sleep. Teenagers commonly go to bed with their phones and become focused on social media. The blue light that comes from cell phones also affects a person’s levels of melatonin. This chemical helps to induce sleep. Blue light prohibits melatonin from being created, and this means that more blue light at nights keeps people up longer. More blue light in the morning, however, helps people wake up and usually allows them to fall asleep easier and earlier. I am a high school student myself and I find that having a cell phone helps me with school. I can get help from friends, keep organized, and search for things I need to learn. As long as I don’t get distracted by it, it is an extremely useful tool.

March 23, 2017 4:36 pm

Thank you for writing this very informational piece! I did not realize how many negative effects there are to using your phone. I think it is important that people, especially our age, cut back on phone use for our health

March 23, 2017 2:45 pm

I agree with you that cell phone addiction is on the rise and that there is no stopping it. I believe I am almost “addicted” to my phone and I can see how much it affects my life. Being a student in high school is tough and having a cellphone is probably one of the worst things that has happened to me. I am constantly using it and getting distracted which takes away from my homework and study time and therefore negatively impacts my grades. One time I got grounded for a short amount of time and it was actually good for me. Without my phone I was able to focus much more and for a longer period of time. While I do agree that it is unstoppable and on the rise I do not agree that it isn’t a problem. This is a very large problem with everyone texting and driving as well as just distracting them from everyday life.

Olivia Van Ark
Olivia Van Ark
March 23, 2017 12:06 pm

Hi Ethan, This was very upsetting and interesting to read. I have seen this as a problem for myself for the past few months. I knew I had become addicted to my phone when I sat down in a waiting room one time, and I pulled out my phone to check it and scroll through my social media feeds. I didn’t even think about the action, and suddenly I became aware how sad it was that I was so dependent on my phone for constant entertainment. From that point forward I deleted some of the social media apps on my phone and turned off the data for the ones I kept. By doing this I was forcing, and still am, forcing myself to live in the moment and not living in the screen. I have seen a HUGE change in my mental health since deleting these apps, and it has drastically reduced the amount of time I spend on my phone. Have you experienced this phone dependence that you’re talking about? or have you managed to keep yourself clean of the technology addiction?

March 23, 2017 4:33 am

Hi Ethan,
I definitely agree with you. The amount of time we, teens, spend on our phones is shameful. Instead of finishing my homework, getting a sufficient amount of sleep, or even socializing and hanging out with friends, I usually spend hours on social media sites, watching YouTube videos, and playing video games. I’ve always known of my extensive use of my phone, however, I’ve never thought about how much time I actually spend on it. It’s pretty sad that most of us spend more time on our phones than sleeping in our beds. Imagine all the things we could accomplish in this wasted time. One of the ways I found helpful for stopping this addiction is setting a specific time period (for example, an hour) of extreme, focused working. In this time period, I try to get as much done as possible. Most importantly, I make sure to turn off my phone. This way, I have a time period and a goal, and can get much done without getting distracted and without procrastinating. What about you? What advice do you recommend to stop this phone addiction?

March 22, 2017 6:16 pm

these numbers are so amazingly shocking. i never thought that teens would be on there phone so much.

March 22, 2017 5:38 pm

I really liked this.

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