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SmartphonesHaveTakenOver

Kelsea McLaughlin
over 2 years Arlington, TX, United States Story
Smartphones Have Taken Over

Whether it be for texting, calling, social media, banking, playing games, or the ability to google anything you want anywhere you are, you more than likely own a Smartphone. Most people use them for all of the above situations and then some. Let's not deny that Smartphones are incredibly convenient and no matter your household income it is encouraged to have one to be "normal". I mean, when was the last time you saw someone with a flip phone? Even my Grandma has a Smartphone AND a Tablet. If you are a part of Gen X, Millennials, or anyone younger the expectation to have one is even greater. 

I recently read an article by Ira Hymen, Ph.D in Psychology titled "Cell Phones are Changing Social Interactions". This article was written in 2014, however, most of the content is still relevant.  He stated "Having a cell phone completely changed my social life. That is what my sons told me after we finally got them cell phones when they were in high school." In the article he goes on to describe an investigation he and his colleague conducted on how people use their phones for social interaction and their stand on cell phone etiquette. The study was broken down into 4 age categories; the youngest was 18-24 and the oldest was 50-68. His investigation provided the following data:

  • over 90% of all participants made fewer than 10 phone calls each day
  •  more than 80% of the over 50 group send and receive fewer than 10 texts each day and calling or email were their preferred method of communication. 
  • Younger generations not only used text way more but also expected quicker responses from friends
  • Younger generations found text messaging in multiple scenarios as acceptable (some scenarios listed were "having dinner with friends", "in line at the store", "in church", and even "intimate situations")
  • about 15% of young adults reported breaking up with someone over text and 25% reported being dumped over text.
  • No matter the age group, everyone expected quicker responses from their significant other when it came to texting.

Most of this information is not really groundbreaking. What I found interesting was his statement that younger generations do not have a "cell phone addiction". Rather, this is social interaction which we "Internet Natives" have learned to effectively maintain and enhance our social relationships while older generations are still learning to keep in touch in the modern era.

While I agree that younger generations generally text more than older generations, I disagree that the majority of younger generations feel cell phone use is acceptable etiquette in any situation. As stated above, this article was written in 2014 and, while it has only been three years since the article was written there have been many changes to cell phone usage and technology. It is clear to me that older generations are jumping on board with Smartphones more than ever; using them for everything the younger generations use them for. Text messaging and phone calls are not nearly as relevant as they use to be for any generation, so I thought it was odd that his study was based solely on those two aspects. 

While I agree with Dr. Hymen in that cell phones are the future of social interactions, I disagree that it is not an addiction. When people are using their phone while driving, in the restroom, at social events with friends, and constantly checking their phones throughout the day it speaks volumes on how much we actually rely on them. I read in another article that most people do not have their cell phones more than five feet away from them at all times and have severe anxiety if they feel they have lost it. 

Smartphone use has become part of Structuralism. The majority of society not only owns a Smartphone, but uses it in nearly every aspect of their lives. There is even a new text language that has been developed to help people communicate their emotions more effectively through their phones. Abbreviations, slang, and emoticons are commonly used. If you do not own a Smartphone you are seen as off and outdated by society.

Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory definitely applies to modern day Smartphone use. Phones have become a part of our subconscious in the way we interact. We do not think about texting someone rather than calling them; we just do it. We do not think about checking our social media; we just find ourselves with our phone in our hand scrolling through our Timeline on Facebook. There is a subconscious need to constantly have our cell phones near us that many people cannot reasonably explain. I don't know about you guys, but this seems like a slippery slope to me. I think we could all benefit from more time away from our phones and not let them control our lives.


7 replies

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  • Heather Strickland
    over 2 years ago

    Totally agreed with you Kelsea and Martha as well! How big is Tarrant County College? and where is it located in Texas?

    Totally agreed with you Kelsea and Martha as well! How big is Tarrant County College? and where is it located in Texas?

    • Kelsea McLaughlin
      over 2 years ago Arlington, TX, United States

      Thank you Heather! Tarrant County College has five campuses spread across Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas. Some of them are bigger than others. I'm currently taking a summer class at the Trinity River Campus which is in downtown Fort Worth and it's pretty big compared to the others. I usually attend the South Campus though because of the location and I like that it is a lot smaller. 

      Thank you Heather! Tarrant County College has five campuses spread across Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas. Some of them are bigger than others. I'm currently taking a summer class at the Trinity River Campus which is in downtown Fort Worth and it's pretty big compared to the others. I usually attend the South Campus though because of the location and I like that it is a lot smaller. 

      • Rose Mcwell
        over 2 years ago

        What do you think about the future communication between young people with all the new technologies that we have now?

        What do you think about the future communication between young people with all the new technologies that we have now?

        • Kelsea McLaughlin
          over 2 years ago Arlington, TX, United States

          I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to, but I've read some articles about the effects of technology on children from multiple psychologists and I read that too much screen time can be overstimulating to children because their brains are not developed fully like adults. The frontal lobe is responsible for tasks such as planning, working memory, sensory, motor skills, and impulse control. This part of the brain is extremely underdeveloped and malleable at that age. Over stimulation from too much screen time has been linked to ADD or other attention disorders, difficulty building relationships and an increased chance of being an introvert. This could effect their ability to think for themselves and learn new things or even lead to an unhealthy lifestyle later in life. Having the ability to look up anything at the click of a button has an effect on memory as well. Of course, the new technologies we have are also beneficial to children, just in moderation. I am not a professional nor a parent so I can't really weigh in too much about this, but moderation seems to be key for every generation. The advancement in technology seems to be rewiring our brains from a young age in a similar way the introduction of books did. Nicholas Carr observed that the emergence of reading encouraged our brains to be focused and imaginative while the rise of the internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently. One should not be replaced with the other. Children should be exposed and encouraged to participate in multiple activities which strengthen the brain and their ability to learn in different ways. It's really up to us, as adults, to be a positive role model so that future generations will benefit from both the new technology we have and the older methods which were used to teach children.

          I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to, but I've read some articles about the effects of technology on children from multiple psychologists and I read that too much screen time can be overstimulating to children because their brains are not developed fully like adults. The frontal lobe is responsible for tasks such as planning, working memory, sensory, motor skills, and impulse control. This part of the brain is extremely underdeveloped and malleable at that age. Over stimulation from too much screen time has been linked to ADD or other attention disorders, difficulty building relationships and an increased chance of being an introvert. This could effect their ability to think for themselves and learn new things or even lead to an unhealthy lifestyle later in life. Having the ability to look up anything at the click of a button has an effect on memory as well. Of course, the new technologies we have are also beneficial to children, just in moderation. I am not a professional nor a parent so I can't really weigh in too much about this, but moderation seems to be key for every generation. The advancement in technology seems to be rewiring our brains from a young age in a similar way the introduction of books did. Nicholas Carr observed that the emergence of reading encouraged our brains to be focused and imaginative while the rise of the internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently. One should not be replaced with the other. Children should be exposed and encouraged to participate in multiple activities which strengthen the brain and their ability to learn in different ways. It's really up to us, as adults, to be a positive role model so that future generations will benefit from both the new technology we have and the older methods which were used to teach children.

          • Rose Mcwell
            over 2 years ago

            I really appreciate the depth of your response.

            I really appreciate the depth of your response.

  • Martha Vazquez
    [deleted]
    over 2 years ago Fort Worth, TX, United States

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Martha Vazquez
    Martha Vazquez President of Mogul at Tarrant County College
    over 2 years ago Fort Worth, TX, United States

    I love your in dept research on this! Haha I have my phone right next to me 

    I love your in dept research on this! Haha I have my phone right next to me 

    • Kelsea McLaughlin
      over 2 years ago Arlington, TX, United States

      Thank you Martha! I have mine next to me too lol but I have cut back on using it a lot in the past year or two. I never text and drive and I try my best to not look at or use my phone in social situations. 

      Thank you Martha! I have mine next to me too lol but I have cut back on using it a lot in the past year or two. I never text and drive and I try my best to not look at or use my phone in social situations. 


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