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Are Cell Phones Ruining Society?

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Sarah Wiles
Assignment #3: Argument
15 April 2013
“Are Cell Phones Ruining Society?” Cell phones are not just a privilege in people’s lives anymore but have become a necessity in order for people to function on a daily basis. Not a minute goes by where cell phones aren’t being used somewhere at some time. The average American looks at their phone 150 times per day. That works out to once every 6.5 minutes of every hour that the average person is awake. (Glaser) As high as those numbers are, the usage of cell phones will only continue to increase as time goes on. Cell phones have their advantages but the amount of time people spend on their cellphones is ruining face to face communication, jeopardizing jobs in the future, and putting people’s lives at a higher risk. Face to face communication is becoming almost non-existent in our society today. Talking in person has become an option instead of a necessity. Sending a text or email has become much easier than having to walk to the next room to hold a conversation with that person. Obviously texting, email, and other forms of technology have its benefits and make life easier but the value of a conversation with someone else is deteriorating. Everything that can be said in person can now be said in a text message with a completely different impression of the emotion being portrayed. Along with face to face communication, people are missing out on the little things due to the attachment of their phones. The phone has almost become as essential as another body part. When walking around a college campus, about every student has a cell phone out texting or checking a voicemail instead of paying attention to the world around them. All the self-involvement in the cell phone causes a person to become more focused inwardly, which leaves less room for anything else such as the people around you or noticing how you feel about the things you are surrounded by. When you’re speaking on your cell phone, you are cutting yourself off from those who are physically around you. Whether these are people you know or complete strangers, you’re denying the chance of getting to know those people better or meeting some of those strangers you probably aren’t even noticing. Events going on in other places have become more important than the things going on right in front of us (Jones.) The diminishing act of face to face communication and being less aware of your surroundings brings out another problem phones have on society: Social Media. Social media is a more recent problem then texting but as times move forward, the involvement people have with the online world is only making matters worse. Between Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram there isn’t a second where society isn’t aware of what everyone else around them is doing. In the world of social media, nothing is private anymore. Things that used to be done in private or in downtime have now become an obsession. People have gotten so obsessed that they find it socially acceptable to post anything from a personal problem at home to when they are going to the bathroom. Sharing to the world what goes on in your life is one thing but the problem sets in when people start publicizing about what others are doing. It crosses the line of privacy. At any point in time, something you say or do can be posted on a public forum. At college, the problem of alcohol comes into this category. Being on a college campus all the time, the amount of stupidity seen amongst kids when it comes to posting images and quotes about alcohol is very high. Kids don’t realize that what they do now in life affects what they are going to be doing in their futures. According to Joe Bontke, outreach manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 75 percent of recruiters are required to do online research before hiring a person for a job. 70 percent of those recruiters have rejected candidates because of the things found on social media. (Anderson) Social Media causes too much temptation towards young adults in college when it comes to posting and talking about activities that wouldn’t be approved when looking for a job later in life. Also, research shows that the more a person spends on social media, the lower their grades and common knowledge becomes. Researchers found that kids who spend most their time on social media find it harder to concentrate in class, are permanently distracted, and have shorter attention spans. Rather than relying on life experiences, educational travel, and face to face interaction with others, children are becoming obsessed with social networking and this is shaping their attitudes instead. (Bloxham) Since our society has such easy access to phones all the time, social media will continue to cause problems.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers using cell phones a year. Cell phones not only affect communication and the outcome of a person’s future but now reach another level of seriousness. Cell phones have caused a higher chance of death in our society. People continue to preach every day the effects of texting and driving to kids and adults across the country but every year we are still faced with the horrid number of deaths texting and driving causes. Texting and driving is such a preventable tragedy but still continues to affect so many people every day. It only takes a matter of seconds to not just put your life in danger but everyone else around you. Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field. (“Cell phone and Texting Accident Statistics”) New laws have been issued that make using phones while driving illegal, but the government can only do so much. Texting and driving needs to stop, but that can only come from the people driving themselves.
Cell phones have brought much advancement to our society making it possible to do many more things such as get in contact with a person in a matter of seconds, use GPS when you get lost, and surf the web whenever needed. As a college student, my phone has helped me tremendously throughout this year on being able to contact my friends when needed, staying in contact with friends from home, and looking up something on Google quickly for a class. There are only so many benefits though. When it comes to the bigger perspective of life, phones are destroying life skills that are much more important. Face to face communication is used every day around us and is a skill that people must have in order to succeed, people’s dreams jobs are being taken away because of a stupid decision made in college, and lives are being put a risk because a person can’t wait 10 minutes to send a text until they reach their destination. Society is slowly being destroyed because of cell phones, and we need to make a change. What’s more important, a face to face conversation or a text message, one drunken night in college or a future career, a quick call or a loss of a loved one? Put this into perspective and think about if a cell phone is really worth it.

Works Cited
Anderson, Lauren. “Could a New Social Media Background Check Cost you a Job?” http://college.monster.com
Bloxham, Andy. “Social Networking: Teachers Blame Facebook and Twitter for Pupils’ Poor
Grades.” 2010 http://www.telegraph.co/uk/education
“Cell Phone and Texting Accident Statisitics.” 2012 http://www.edgarsnyder.com
Glaser, Mark. “How Cell Phones are Killing Face-to-face Interactions.” 2007 http://www.pbs.org/mediashift
Jones,S. “Five ways your cell phone is ruining your life.” 2009 http://voices.yahoo.com
Scovill, Cassidy. “Cell phones ruin today’s society.” 2011 http://eagle.ceu.edu/article/cell-phones-ruin-today

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