The Effects of Cellphones on Society

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Cellphones have had many positive effects on the world. They have made it possible to instantly communicate with someone thousands of miles away from you with the touch of a finger. They allow you to play games, post things on social media, listen to music, or even video chat with anyone you want. It can feel like you are in your own universe. Now these things may sound good, but I believe cellphones also have a huge negative effect on society. They cause individuals to isolate themselves from one another. Real one on one talking has in a sense died. Most time spent with friends and families is usually done while staring at a screen and essentially ignoring the people around you. In a brand new film called the,Mid90s the director, Jonah Hill, chooses that time period purely due to the lack of cellphones. Jonah Hill states At it’s core, it’s a movie about this group of friends at a time when it’s you and your friends versus the world. The reason why those close friendships were able to form, in my perspective, was because we didn’t have phones. We were skating around and waiting for the bus or just talkingwe didn’t have gadgets to break away from that connection. I think the simple way Jonah Hill put this is the best way to say it.  It is clear that in this day and age most people are addicted to their phones and cannot picture themselves without them. I would say something negative about this fact, but I shouldn’t judge as I too have found myself obsessing over my phone and getting frustrated if it doesn’t work properly.

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While looking for research on this topic I found it easy to come across good sources to help answer my questions. I mainly used the Internet as my database as I found it much easier and more productive than going to the library and checking out books. One thing that I found extremely helpful was using Google Scholar. This is a search engine made by Google that shows links to only creditable sources and scholarly literature. I found out about this website while actually interviewing a friend of mine about his use of cellphones. He agreed with my thinking that many people are addicted to their phones and added in how they are also very distracting during class time. This made me go on to researching the effects of phones in the classroom, which I’m sure most people could guess wasn’t good when you compared certain peoples grades to the amount of time they spent on their phones. The interview I had with my friend I would call my primary source and the articles I found on Google Scholar I would call my secondary source.

Cellular communication, whether it be verbal or digital has affected the population of adults and children worldwide. Cellphones are the main basis of communication, whether it be talking on the phone or scrolling through twitter. They allow entire groups to interact without actually being in the presence of one another. Smartphones offer many applications that offer a variety of tools. Mobile phones have had a positive impact on society and there are many advantages to having a cellphone, but as I said before there are certainly many negative effects as well. Cellphones have affected society for the better and for the worse. They are very useful and let you interact with the world but the constant interaction has its downside.

Cellphone companies have found there way into the lives of virtually the entire population, and have addicted many. An increasing reliance on cell-phones among young adults and college students may signal the evolution of cell-phone use from a habit to an addiction. (254 Roberts, Yaya and Manolis) Everywhere from coffee shops to the waiting room at the doctor’s office, people are constantly on their phones. With new applications offering a wide range of use, todays cellphones make users more prone to addiction. Smartphone use has been changing daily routines, habits, . The constant checking and/or use of smartphone applications 24h a day has been linked to sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety, withdrawal and deterioration in well-being, decreased academic performance, and decreased physical activity.(321 Samaha and Hawl). The new emergence of Smartphones has secretly swept the population. A study from the Pew research center found that 46 percent of cellphone owners said their cellphones were something they could not live without and that 15 percent of young adults were heavily dependent on their smartphone. (321 Samaha and Hawl)

Smartphones are not only guilty for creating addiction, but also for creating distractions when people need to focus on set tasks. In recent years there has been a decline in the performance rates in the adolescent community. In a study conducted by Computers in Human Behavior, they found a strong correlation between frequent cellphone use and rates of inadequate physical fitness. CPUse was negatively related to an objective measure of physical fitness (VO2peak) among a sample of typical college students. In other words, high cell phone users were less physically fit than low cell phone users.(343 Lepp, Barkley and Kirpinski) The more a person uses their cellphone the more prone they were to be physically unfit. This is easily connectable as cellphones can cause prolonged periods of sedentary behavior. 

When talking about cellphones and school, the effects are rather negative as well. High cellphone use is one of several attributes to a decline in academic rates. Cellphones take a toll on students once again. In a study of 451 college students, researchers monitored cellphone use and academic performance. The results were unsurprisingly negative. They also related excessive cellphone use to higher levels of stress. Compulsive smartphone usage is positively associated with technostress, which is stress caused by information and communication overload. ( 322 Samaha and Hawl) In other words, the more each student accessed their cellphones to communicate with the world, the more their stress levels boosted. Cellphone use could be too much for some people and they may not even know it.

Problems with cellphones are not only associated with addiction and distraction, but also with inappropriate content. Smart phones open doors to young adolescents and let them experience almost anything they want. There is little regulation as to what adolescents say and do online. For example, cyber bullying is a prevalent issue among our society and has been steadily growing for a long time.

According to the available literature, the prevalence of cyberbullying among adolescents who possess cell phones ranges from 5.9 to 24.6 percent. (Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, Sanson and Sanson) Cellphones open the gates to unlimited communication between adolescents and these limited regulations are often taken advantage of.

Cellphones cause stress for people from the constant checking and replying that it requires. As an empirical example, in a study of more than 100 individuals in the United Kingdom reported that cell phone technology was associated with increased personal stress. The emergence of stress was attributed to participants getting caught up in compulsively checking for new messages, alerts, and updates.(Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, Sanson and Sanson) In a study conducted in upstate New York, researchers looked for total cellphone use and the relation with stress. The correlation was strong with higher cellphone use linked to higher rates of stress in work and family relationships.

Cellphones take yet another toll in the category of mental health by having an effect on our sleep as well. In a Belgian study conducted by Van den Bulck, they found that members of the study who used their cellphones more than once a week were 5 times more likely to be in a tired/sluggish state. They found 35 percent of participants reporting such states throughout the day. Also in a Japanese study 94,777 young adult researchers linked cellphone use in later hours of the day to shorter sleep duration, poorer subjective sleep quality, insomnia, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Cellphone use effects sleep patterns of excessive users with overstimulation.

Cellphones, whether talking about any number of these effects, should be considered when talking about the mental health and overall well being of the young adolescent community. To say that smartphones are taken advantage of would be an understatement. Cellphones affect the world in some positive ways, but a lot of negative ways. They are very useful tools that allow people to communicate, analyze and process data. When used in moderation, cellphones are very beneficial. It is when these devices become a part of daily life and become inseparable from the host, that they effect the population.

        While researching this topic I learned a lot about the negatives of cellphones that I never knew before. I of course was familiar with the benefits like most people in this generation are, but I was never fully aware of all the damage they can cause. Cellphones can greatly affect your mental and physical health. They can cause irrational sleep patterns and in a sense make a person lazier. Cellphones are addictive and bring people simple joy by liking and sharing things online, but having constant access to these devices distract us from the real world. When people have their phones with them they are less likely to get work done. They become distracted and focus less on their priorities like getting an education or going to the gym. Although these devices have many benefits we must learn to use them in moderation before it’s too late and we all get sucked into the digital world.

Works cited

  1. Samaha, Maya, and Nazir S. Hawi. Relationships among Smartphone Addiction, Stress, Academic Performance, and Satisfaction with Life. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 57, 2016, pp. 321–325., doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.12.045.
  2. Roberts, James, et al. The Invisible Addiction: Cell-Phone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, vol. 3, no. 4, 2014, pp. 254–265., doi:10.1556/jba.3.2014.015.
  3. Lepp, Andrew, et al. The Relationship Between Cell Phone Use and Academic Performance in a Sample of U.S. College Students. SAGE Open, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015, p. 215824401557316., doi:10.1177/2158244015573169.
  4. Lepp, Andrew, et al. The Relationship between Cell Phone Use, Academic Performance, Anxiety, and Satisfaction with Life in College Students. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 31, 2014, pp. 343–350., doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.049.
  5. Sansone, Randy A., and Lori A. Sansone. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, Matrix Medical Communications, Jan. 2013,
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The Effects of Cellphones on Society. (2019, Nov 13). Retrieved February 1, 2023 , from

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