Hi everyone! I hope that all of you are doing well in this turbulent time, and that boredom hasn’t gotten the best of you. To help with that though, I thought I might post my inquiry reflection a little early to give you all something to interesting (I hope) to read. Enjoy!
a. I overcame numerous challenges throughout this inquiry project, nearly all of which revolved around a lack of inspiration, not knowing what to write, and a lack of information. There were many times during my inquiry project that I just stared at my monitor for what felt like hours and hours on end, completely lost and lacking the knowledge of what direction to take my research. It even got to the point where I spent more time staring at blank documents than researching and writing, dramatically and unnecessarily increasing the amount of time it took to write a round of research. Eventually though, I had had enough, and finally started trying different ways that not only could get me inspired, but also that could maintain that inspiration and provide me with enough information throughout my rounds of research. I tried numerous things, such as asking my friends and family members for ideas, but in the end the way that worked best for me was reading articles. Now I know that might sound strange, but please let me elaborate. Whenever I was researching and writing my rounds of research, and felt that my inspiration was faltering, starting to abandon me, I searched the web for articles on, but also around my topic. Viewing articles on my topic was helpful, but only to an extent, because doing so always resulted in a limited amount and overly-specific type of information, that didn’t allow for the big picture to be shown. Reading articles on topics slightly outside, yet still closely linked to my topic, allowed for me to branch out and provide a more information-packed and educational post, that didn’t only focus on information on the topic at hand, but also information surrounding the topic, such as how the topic had affected the world positively, not just negatively, giving the reader an overall better, more well-rounded understanding of the topic and its impact. There are many examples of me doing this in my rounds of research, but the one I remember in the most detail is the one in my third round of research, “Are smartphones helping or hurting society and the people within it?”. In this post, I set out to answer that very question, and in the end I found it; smartphones are hurting society and the people within it. With this though, I also mentioned something that I had learned while reading numerous articles around that topic, and that was that even though smartphones are hurtful, they act as a necessary evil that pushes society as a whole forward, but holds back some that get caught in a loop of addiction and overuse.
b. This inquiry project changed the way I think in two main ways. The first is how I view smartphones. Before I started this inquiry project, I held the belief that smartphones were simply great tools for all people, and that, while not perfect, their benefits always outweighed their imperfections. After finishing my third round of research however, I find myself thinking otherwise. After viewing and writing about the findings of more than a few surveys and experiments on smartphones and their impact, especially on teenagers, I finally understand that smartphones, while great additions to many people’s lives, can be a detriment and a slippery slope to others. Now, I view smartphones as drugs, useful tools that can be harmful if overused. That also ties into my second way this inquiry project changed the way I think, and that is the way I think of people that are constantly on their smartphones. Before, I thought of these people as people that simply lacked patience and had short attention spans. While that may still be part of the truth, this inquiry project has shown me that it is certainly not the whole truth. Now, I think of people that are constantly checking and using their smartphones as normal people that have unintentionally fallen into a harmful loop of addiction with a tool they thought as harmless, and that must be helped out of the loop if they do not want to be burdened with the curse that is over-reliance, as that could hurt them much worse than they most likely believe.
c. This investigation has impacted my future decisions greatly. My smartphone has always been one of my most cherished and important items, and for most of my life I’ve had had a smartphone in my hand or pocket, or on a nearby surface. I virtually nowhere without it, and I use it was at least a few hours each and every day. This investigation however, has showed me that my social smartphone habits could actually prove quite harmful in the long run. Looking back, I now see that I have over relied on my smartphone for most of the years I have lived, and that has hurt my real-life social contact and relationships many times. Because of this investigation, I have decided that I will no longer depend on virtual relationships to fulfill my social contact. While this will take some time, due to the current state of the world, I am striving to replace at least two thirds of my social media driven relationships with many more days-out with my friends and family members. This investigation has also impacted another one of my future decisions, by making me decide to download a usage management application to my smartphone. This app will allow me to limit myself from overusing my smartphone, and force me to live more in the real world, and less in the virtual one.
d. Like I mentioned in my inquiry project plan post more than three months ago, this investigation will have a large impact on others locally and globally, and that is due to the relevancy of the topic. At this time, the popularity of smartphones, and with that the concern for how dangerous they really are, is at an all-time high. Sadly, I have seen that the amount of people that are willing to truly search for the correct information about this topic is lacking, with many parents and other adults simply hating the technology, because it is new to them, and students, teenagers and other young adults already loving and sometimes being addicted to it, simply because they grew up with it. This investigation will impact those that lack the knowledge on the truth and the dangers of smartphones, both locally and globally, as nearly anyone now has access to a smartphone and the internet, and many are curious on the effects of this ever-changing technology. All in all, my research rounds will impact people and families by making them understand that they may be hurting themselves with their smartphone habits and possible overuse. While my information may shock them at first, they will hopefully understand in the end the dangers that lurk. My research rounds will also impact people and families by giving them a few tips and tricks on how to maintain a healthy use of smartphones, and ways to decrease use if addiction has already set in.