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Negative Impacts of Cellphones

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Negative Impacts of Cellphones
Janel Henggeler
Composition One
10 February 2013
Cell Phones: the Fast Track to the Destruction of Society
We were on our way into Manhattan for our monthly shopping trip to Wal-Mart. I was riding in the backseat as always, being the youngest. My oldest sister, Nicole, was in a state of the utmost euphoria, because today was the day she got her first cellphone. My parents made her a promise that if she was getting good grades they would buy her a cellphone her freshman year of high school. She would be the first one of her friends to get one, and she was ready to brag about it; however, my parents had some stipulations. The phone would stay at home during the school day as not to tempt her to text in class, the phone would not be used during family activities or dinner, and the phone would stay off until homework was complete. Nicole reluctantly agreed to all the restrictions and she picked out the prized phone. Unlike then, today the stipulations set by my parents are obsolete. All of the rules have become commonplace in society and are accepted by the majority of the nation. Cellphones have piloted society into a fallacy leading our youth into problems with school, safety, and communication, which has the potential to destroy personal relationships and etiquette in modern society.
Starting with our youth, cellphones have created an assortment of problems in modern society. The progressing pressure of society on students to achieve in the classroom has caused students of all ages anxiety, thus leading them to alternative methods of obtaining information. While using different methods to get information is not a bad thing it can have its repercussions. If the student does not do well in school, modern society tells them that they will not get into college and they will never find a job, hence the pressure on students in very high. Students are carrying their cellphones from class to class, some having access to the Internet from smart phones. It’s easier for students to attain answers to tests or homework, not only with the Internet but also texting other classmates. Seventy-five percent of teenagers have cellphones, and a survey led by Scott Campbell, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, found that sixty-five percent of teens with cellphones take their phones to school with them everyday (Campbell). The survey also found that seventy-one percent of those students have admitted texting or accessing the Internet during class. With the rise of cellphones in the classroom it is causing students’ attention spans to disintegrate. Students have the ability to retrieve the same information the teacher instructs in an hour lesson within seconds. Some say students’ attention spans have shortened to no more than sixty seconds, and they have become oblivious to their surroundings due to lack of focus in eye to eye contact or word of mouth communication (Yusuf). Cellphones are negatively impacting our youth by causing sloppy studying habits. One reason for the problem with cellphones in school is because people are unable to leave their cellphone at home; likewise, teens’ carrying their cellphone causes some to become addicted. While adolescents are relying more heavily on mobile communications the understanding of the risks involved need to be balanced with the understanding of the consequences. As people get into their car to go to work or school, most have their phone with them. Ten percent of drivers age sixteen to twenty-four are on their phone at any given time while driving (Nationwide), and forty percent of the nation’s teens have admitted to being in a car with a driver on their cellphone (Pew). When a phone is in the seat next to someone and they see the bright light flashing, signaling they have received a new message it is temping to look at; however, this results in their attention being taken off driving causing them to be distracted. Texting while driving has climbed to the number one source of driver inattention (Virginia Tech/ NHTSA). In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes related to distracted driving, and eighteen percent of injury crashes involved a distracted driver (NHTSA). If a person is texting and driving it is equal to having your blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08, which means your reflexes are sluggish, causing slowed thinking and coordination, making your driving skills significantly impaired (University of Utah, BAL effects). Having you blood alcohol concentration rate at 0.08 is like having your brain activity reduced by thirty-seven percent (Carnegie Mellon). Drivers who are using cellphones while driving are four times more likely to get into a crash (Monash University). Drivers out on the road do not want to be driving next to or behind a drunk driver and with the same side effects as drinking they do not want to be next to a driver that is texting either.
Social networking is also creating a problem in society. The world is now connected due to social networking; with new smartphones having the capability to access the Internet teens are always on with their phones. The cellphone is portrayed as glamorous, but also not exclusive. The cellphone has fabricated our society, most notably in advertising. The ubiquity of cellphones has caused changes in cultural norms. Youth update the newest status, download the latest music, and tweet what they’re doing all within minutes on their cellphone. This hype has caused not only teens, but also adults to not pay attention to the world around them. The Tethered World Study directed by Professor Paul Mihailidis of Emerson College in Boston followed college students and tracked their cellphones for a twenty-four hour period. The results showed that social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the dominant presence in the student’s lives. “They are having a homogenizing effect on how students live around the world,” Mihailidis enunciates. With anyone having access to your personal information or your identity online at anytime, the data can be gathered and be used to abuse you (Mihailidis, Moeller). Cyber – bulling is on the rise. In a limited survey taken in 2008 and 2009 by the US Department of Education 753,000 students reported unwanted contact via text messaging (NCJRS). In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 2011, sixteen percent of high school students reported being bullied via electronics, which is up ten percent from 2009 (“stopbulling.gov”).
Furthermore, communication in relationships is disintegrating due to cellphones. Family relationships as we know them are becoming extinct. With the progression of technology invading our lives, especially cellphones, children of this generation are not learning proper etiquette. As they live their day-to-day lives they are not developing their face -to-face relationships. The adoption of cellphones has disconnected families, not giving them the opportunity to bond, thus eroding personal relationships. In a study conducted by Gwenn Schurgin O’Keefe, MD, a member of the Council on Communications and Media of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she observed that parents and children, when together, spend more time on their cellphones then spending their time enjoying each others company (O’Keefe). She even went so far as to say, “It won’t just be the fabric of families that will break down, but society as we know it.” With children growing up relying on cellphones to solve their problems they will be unable to use life experiences and lessons for enrichment and to learn. In this generation with all the technology youth are not learning the proper skills for living in real time or being in the same rhythm as someone else. Though they prioritize communication, the way cellphones change the ethics of this new behavior are not universally agreed upon. Businesses, movie theatres, and restaurants, once places for family outings, have become spaces in which the appropriateness of cellphone conversations is dispute and unclear.
Although the nation is progressing with technology there are consequences to the expansion of cellphones in society. The rules set by my parents are not followed by most anymore, hence teens and adults have become arrogant with the technology cellphones offer. The youth of this country are using their cellphones every minuet whether it’s in the car, at school, or at dinner with their family. They are updating the latest status or texting their friends. The way the youth are abusing their cellphones has led them into issues with their school, the police, and even their family. Having the latest and newest things is leading society into a tailspin by destroyed communication in relationships and the demeanor of the American teenager. Saving the moral of the teens and young adults of this nation will require improvement in face-to-face communication and teaching them to put down the cellphone.

Comp.1 CE-Words – 1,299

References

. "Blood Alcohol Level and You." AlcoholAlert!: Intervention at the Point of Consumption. AlcoholAlert.com, n.d. Web. 10 Feb 2013. <http://www.alcoholalert.com/blood-alcohol-level.html>.

. "Driving While Distracted: Statistics To Know." Nationwide. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, n.d. Web. 10 Feb 2013. <http://www.nationwide.com/newsroom/dwd-facts-figures.jsp>.

Lenhart, Amanda, Rich Ling, Scott Campbell, and Kristen Purcell. "Teens and Mobile Phones." PewInternet. Pew Research Center, 20 Apr 2010. Web. 10 Feb 2013. <http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Teens-and-Mobile-Phones.aspx>.

Moeller, Susan. "New Study: Mobile Phones Put the "Social" in Social Media." HuffingtonPost.com. Huffington Post, 03 Oct 2012. Web. 11 Feb 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-moeller/new-study-mobile-phones-p_b_1927945.html>.

Smith, Aaron. "Americans and Their Cell Phones." PewInternet. Pew Research Center, 15 Aug 2011. Web. 10 Feb 2013. <http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phones.aspx>.

. "Student Reports of Bullying and Cyber-Bullying." National Criminal Justice Reference Service. U.S. Department of Education, n.d. Web. 11 Feb 2013. <http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011336.pdf>.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, . "What is Cyberbulling." StopBulling.gov. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Web. 13 Feb 2013. <http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html>.

U.S. Department of Transportation, . "What is Distracted Driving?." Distraction.gov.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Web. 13 Feb 2013. <http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html>.

Wollman, Dana. "Is Technology Tearing Apart Family Life?." LAPTOP: The Pulse of Mobile Tech. LAPTOP, 24 Mar 2009. Web. 10 Feb 2013. <http://www.laptopmag.com/mobile-life/is-technology-tearing-apart-family-life.aspx>.

Yusuf, Raliat. "Attention Span Reducing Due To Modern Gadgets." Leadership. Leadership, 13 Jun 2012. Web. 11 Feb 2013. <http://www.leadership.ng/nga/articles/27220/2012/06/13/attention_span_reducing_due_modern_gadgets.html>.

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