We all know how helpful smartphones can be. They can increase our productivity, let us unwind or let us keep in touch with the people we love. But we also know that smartphones can be detrimental. Most people immediately flock to saying that smartphone addiction is the only way that smartphones are harmful, but that is simply incorrect. Smartphones can be destructive is so many more ways, and that leads me to my question that I based my entire inquiry project on: Are smartphones hurting society and the people within it?
Like I mentioned previously, there are numerous ways that smartphones are detrimental to society and our lives. One of them is my last post’s topic, addiction, and in turn, overuse of smartphones. That overuse can lead into a lack of real-life social contact and be very hurtful to the maintenance of real-life relationships, whether they be with family members, friends or romantic partners. That addiction and overuse can also cause numerous other negative effects on people’s mental health. Prolonged lack of real-life social contact can result in depression, anxiety and overwhelming shyness, which could badly damage someone’s mental and social life, especially in teenagers ; teens are now more depressed and have a much higher chance of attempting suicide due to smartphones and social media. A survey of pediatric hospitals even found that hospitalizations of 5 to 17-year-old children for suicidal idealization or attempts doubled between 2008 and 2015 . Overuse of smartphones can also result in the lack of skill learning, which could hurt someone’s chances of getting a rewarding and high-paying career and possibly ruin that person’s chance at a happy life. But people’s mental health isn’t the only aspect of people’s lives that is being negatively affected by smartphones.
People’s physical health is also being negatively affected by smartphones. Some detriments might be obvious, like tripping and falling due to people’s eyes being glued to their smartphone’s screen nearly all the time, and some aren’t so obvious. Those include neck pain and damage due to posture made popular due to the constant use of smartphones, talking and/or texting while driving due to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) , lack of sleep due to the intervention of blue light from smartphones’ screens, arthritis or other hand pain due to large amounts of texting and/or gaming on smartphones and even possible eyesight damage due to harmful light emitted from smartphone screens . Prolonged smartphone use can also decrease your memory capacity, weaken your capability of inductive reasoning and dramatically increase weight gain .
Overall, my research has shown me that, yes, smartphones are hurting society and the people within it, but they are, in a way, a necessary evil. Smartphones have pushed our world forward and let us live our lives more productively and happily, and allowed us to do things that we could never even imagine doing without them. With that though comes a responsibility to limit ourselves from overusing smartphones, unless we want to damage our physical and mental health. If we can successfully limit ourselves from using smartphones too much or in the wrong environments, we will be making sure that they only help us, not harm us.