The Cell Phone – a Double Edged Sword
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The Cell Phone: a Double Edged Sword        The introduction of smartphones, such as the iPhone in 2007, radically changed the lives of the younger generation. The smartphone inspired a lot of tech startups-Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace- to make applications of their product for phones. Then came the days of empty parks, busy coffee shops, and kids texting the person right next to them instead of talking face to face. This has gotten a lot of adults riled up. Many adults say that the kids should spend much more time outside playing sports, or at the least walking, instead of being glued to small screen. But there is something beneficial to kids that adults fail to mention- the plethora of information at the palm of your hand. Seeing that kids can now easily access the internet, the information available at their fingertips is unimaginable! In the past, however, one needed to go to seemingly greater lengths for the same information. The accessibility, applications (such as games), and communication methods of smartphones cause an insane shift in generational norms by creating new opportunities and problems for the younger generation.        The level of accessibility created by smartphones is unparalleled. Currently, when students need to research a topic for a paper, all the students have to do is type in the topic in and millions of websites appear. Next, by clicking on one of the websites, the students get a comprehensive understanding of the topic due to the mostly credible sources gives. This process takes a matter of seconds and requires little to no effort. Another example would be accessing news sources. Every student in college and high school must take an economics class and a government class. These two classes are highly dependent on real world news, so accessibility to a news source to discuss a recent affair is very crucial to have in the classroom. Fortunately, smartphones have it covered. Most if not all smartphones come with news and stock market apps pre-installed from their respective manufacturer. Thus, students are now readily informed on political and economic affairs and can participate in such classes. Overall, the ability to gain access to information on smartphones gives it a huge advantage over the previous generation.However, it was not always like this. In the past, a student would have to go to their school’s library (if there wasn’t a library at school then they would travel to a public library). Then they would have to search for their topic using the alphabetically organized bookcases. After that, the student would pick a book and check it out from the library or he/she would take notes on a separate sheet of paper for they could not check out the book. This process takes several minutes and could possibly take hours depending on the library and availability of information. Unfortunately, the struggle doesn’t stop there. Although there were many forms of acquiring information back then such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television news, acquiring information on political and economic affairs for a class was quite a hassle. Watching or listening to the news was a haphazard way of getting information because there were no news reruns on television or radio. Thus, one had to watch and or listen at appropriate times to get their daily news. Furthermore, even in today’s era, asking a teenager or young adult to read the newspaper is next to impossible. The copious amounts of print in a small section of paper made it difficult and boring to read for many, but it had to be done to learn. In short, accessing information in the previous generation was much more of a hassle when compared to accessing information today.The applications on smartphones, such as games, revolutionize how children and adults in the current generation have fun. It is an extremely straightforward process to get an app. All someone needs do is go to the built-in App Store or Google Play Store app (for Apple products and Android products respectively), click on the app that they desire, and click the purchase button. Now they have an app that delivers endless amounts of fun for free! Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks though. When playing a game on a phone, one is sedentary from minutes to hours at a time! This causes massive health issues such as vision loss. A study done by Kevin Loria at Business Insider shows that the blue light emitted from smartphones is linked to vision loss, “The damage that this habit does to our eyes alone is both significant and surprising. Direct exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation warns that retinal damage caused by blue light may lead to macular degeneration, which causes the loss of central vision — the ability to see whats in front of you” Also, there is evidence that the current generation that uses smartphones are becoming unhealthier because they are sedentary for so long. Barbara Bronson Gray states a study done by Kent State University, “Smartphone users just might be the new couch potatoes. Researchers studying college students found that cellphone use — much like watching television — may significantly decrease physical activity and fitness levels. ‘Using a cellphone doesnt have the same kind of negative stigma that sitting on the couch and watching TV has, but it can be just as bad for you,’ said study co-author Jacob Barkley, an associate professor of exercise science at Kent State University in Ohio” For these reasons, the applications on phones seem to have a negative effect on the current generation.

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Kent State University And Blue Light. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from