Cell Phones and Media Consumption
In today’s society, the prolific use of cell phones has become so commonplace we barely realize how often we (and the people around us) are on our phones. Our culture has become accustomed to the widespread use and accessibility of cellphones, and we fail to realize the effect it has on people and society as a whole. The overuse and abuse of cell phones, specifically text messaging among high school and college students is cause for concern. Nowadays, people believe that it is impossible to survive without a cell phone. However, this perceived necessity causes a lot of wasted time and energy spent on text messaging, playing games, and engaging in social media applications and programs like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Cell phones have become portable distractions that never leave our sides. We feel a constant temptation to check our phones, even though you know the information is hardly vital to whatever you are currently doing. I’ve realized that during any free moment I get, I instinctively take out my phone, even though I haven’t received a text message. I don’t have any good reason to be looking at my cell phone, other than boredom, but the fact that it is in my pocket and full of potential information compels me to check it constantly. Cell phones have also caused a decline in face-to-face social interactions. Due to the convenience of our cell phones, we no longer need to be in the presence of the person with whom we are speaking. We don’t even need to verbally address them. Text messaging has handicapped individuals with social anxieties, issues with public speaking, or problems with confrontation. Instead of these people learning to face their fears and maturing past these shortcomings, they simply avoid the issue altogether by communicating via text or email. The excessive misuse of cell phones has also become downright hazardous. Text messaging and driving has become an epidemic not unlike driving under the influence. Studies have shown that there is no difference in the likelihood of causing a car accident between a drunk driver and an individual who is texting while driving. Not only are your eyes off the road and looking into your lap, but you also only have a one hand on the wheel. In many cases, individuals will steer the vehicle with their knee while the use both hands to text. Our society’s excessive and unrestrained use of cell phones directly impacts our ability to learn, limits our social development, and in certain situations is hazardous to our health. ARTICLE REVIEWS
In an article titled “Cell Phone Use and Grade Point Average Among Undergraduate University Students,” a study was done to analyze how cell phones may be affecting typical college students’ ability to achieve good grades. Harman and Sato concluded that, “the results of this study suggest that the more an individual sends or receives text messages, the lower his or her grade point average typically is.” (Harman & Sato, 2011). The study demonstrates that it is clearly more difficult to focus during class when you are having several different conversations with friends or family via text messaging. The researchers used a survey of undergraduate college students to determine the results. 38 men and 80 women were asked to “complete an anonymous survey consisting of a variety of questions regarding cell phone use, academic standing, and demographic information.” (Harman & Sato, 2011). All of the survey questions required simple yes or no responses. The results indicated a negative correlation between grade point average and the number of test messages an individual sends. However, an interesting discovery was that, “contrary to our expectations, grade point average was positively correlated with being comfortable text messaging in class.” (Harman & Sato, 2011). It was interesting to see that the students with higher grade point averages were the most comfortable with...
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