Technology in the 21st Century

Left and right, all we see when we talk down streets are phones in people’s hands. It’s no secret that kids and teens use technology on a daily, whether it’s in school or at home, such as video games, they are glued in front of a screen the majority of the time. They are expected to use laptops and phones in class to do assignments and turn them in, while outside of class they use them to manage the many social media accounts they might have.

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In this day and age, the cellphone is something that we cannot imagine ourselves living without. Smart phone addiction, sometimes colloquially known as “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone), is often fueled by an Internet overuse problem or Internet addiction disorder (Smith, Robinson, Segal, 2018). The excessive use of cellphones can cause kids and teens to be restless and experience sleeping problems. Our lives have become more dependent on mobile phones; they are used to manage businesses, do homework, and play games. Cellphones are also dangerous because of the fact that people drive and use their phones to send text messages or make phone calls. Additionally, all of the usage of phones leads to high phone bills. We often spend a lot of money using phones.

The problem starts with the fact that 71 percent of people sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand (Sleep.org). The fact that many people now use their phones as alarm clocks doesn’t help either. A phone being so close to you makes you want to check your social media accounts and such even if you are sleepy. Smartphones—like laptops, tablets, and televisions—emit something called blue light, which is a type of light that the brain interprets as daylight. The blue light actually suppresses melatonin (a hormone that affects circadian rhythm and should increase when you are preparing for bedtime). The result: Your brain feels stimulated. This is fine if you’re looking at your smartphone’s screen at noon, but if you’re looking at the screen at midnight, your brain is going to get confused and think that the sun is out—making it even tougher to fall asleep (Sleep.org). Confusing your brain into not knowing if it is midnight or noon causes less sleep as it irregulates sleeping patterns and makes one be sleepier during the day.

Some of use might be victims of doing this, using cell phones while driving whether it be to make a call or send a text, we either do it or see it happen on the road. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving (Edgarsnyder.com). We see a lot of accidents on the news that are caused by reckless drivers who can’t stop using their phone even when driving, putting their life and others at risk. Even the fact that there are laws forbidding the use of phones while driving and tickets given out to those who break it shows how addicted people are to their phones, they jeopardize a lot because of them.

Cell phones are a costly luxury, you have to buy a phone, update it when new models come out, pay bills, buy apps, and pay for repairs if needed. The cost of owning a phone throughout a lifetime costs $75,000 (Scipioni, 2018). A phone averagely costs $500 and up and then updating every so often means you spend more than $1,000 per 2 years or so. Along with the cost of buying a phone, in-app purchases and premium memberships, such as Spotify, Apple Music, etc., per year also bumps up the amount of money spent on a phone. Phone bills are also increasing throughout the years depending on what carrier people have and how much they go over their data. Generally, for 1 GB going over data costs an extra $15. Also, a lot of the time when parents have credit cards connected to their phones and their kids are using them, they find it easy to purchase apps and benefits from games without notifying their parents, wasting more money.

On the contrary, some might argue that people aren’t addicted to their cell phones and they don’t cause teens harm, that they are useful for connecting with family that lives far, work from home, look things up but in reality although these are valid points, the negatives hold more against the positives.

Research on this issue brings awareness to this topic that some might see as something of no worth worrying over. It has affected more aspects of our lives than we are aware of, such as our sleeping habits, life risks, and money problems.

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