Cause and effect of smartphones on students

Effects of the Overuse of Smartphone on Students Smartphone is the essential digital gadgets that teenagers nowadays have. Other than basic communication functions, Smartphone nowadays also provide a large varieties of applications including games and other media functions. The enhanced capabilities and functionalities have enabled convenience of many activities conducted through computer systems. Many people are increasingly spending hours on phones as they do on the computers. However, despite the convenience it brings to use, sometimes it might affect our daily life in a negative sense. Among the most affected groups are the students, a generation which embraces the technology with a lot of force. Students are highly influenced by the technology and thus vulnerable to the effects of Smartphone’s overdose.

This hand held gadget provides convenient and entertainment with easy control and fast access. One of the typical examples is the overuse of Smartphone. Smart phone can easily get our attention and distract us. The distractions lower student’s productivity and take their time. The effects and the conditions of increasing Smartphone’s use by students is analysed to come into a conclusion of overdose existence and addiction. Constant usage and sort of addiction to cell phones has affected students physically and psychologically by making them have aches and pains and in some a disability too; they lose their required number of hours of sleep; get angry and scrap over trivial matters, and so on and so forth . (Malinowski, Miller & Gupta 1995)

Though it is known that there could be numerous causes of headache; stress of studies and daily travel as well as exposure to pollutants, being a few important ones, suitable literature on this specific symptom and implications of cell phones for the same could be homed onto. Students sometimes complain of bad temper and irritability after things told to them over phone. Listening to music also make them prickly by the end of the day. Studies done by Gaby Badre, in Sweden, on teenagers, reveal that restlessness does result amongst those who use their phones excessively.

Another common symptom observed in this study was that almost half the students complained of inability to concentrate on studies and other important aspects of their daily lives, due to friends’ or others’ phone calls or texting activities to which they had wanted to respond on an instant basis.

Jennifer Meckles, in her study reports that “attention” gets affected due to increase in mobile phone usage. Many students subsequently confessed to lagging behind in academics due to their cell phone addiction. In the study by Meckles a similar finding on lack in “performance” has been documented.(Badre,Gaby and Meckles,Jennifer 2012)

Anxiety is a displeasing feeling of fear and concern. Students complain of performance-related anxiety, especially on performing well in exams, so as to get better opportunities. Most mobile addicts are students with low self-esteem and are prone to develop friction in their social relations. They feel the urge to be constantly connected and in contact with others and if they are deprived of their cell phones, regardless the reason they become anxious and irritable. It is observed that continuous usage, staring at the screen causes students eye strain so much so that some of them have to go to a Doctor for an eye checkup. Eye strain is obvious due to focusing on the screen or due to continuous texting and playing games. Lack of sleep or insomnia is one of the most common symptoms observed among this class of people. In Gothenburg, Sweden found out that high mobile phone use was associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression.

The Daily Galaxy reports that top sleep experts have raised serious concerns over the more than sufficient evidence showing that radiation from headphones affects deep sleep. Chatting for lengthy periods during breaks between classes resulted in giving their lunch a miss affected their appetite. At home, a similar situation may arise when the students indulge in conversations during their meal times. Loud music over the phone may be a contributing factor for hearing loss. Digital thumb is a nagging problem due to continuous usage of fingers especially the thumb over the small keypad on the cell phones. Like Computer-related stress injuries, this ailment is here to stay as students use the cell phone excessively now-a-days. Repetitive strain injuries like digital thumb, resulting from repetitive tasks as in typing on small buttons. (The Galaxy Sun 2011)

An interactive, synchronous communication technology once again has been found by users to have some control over their lives. Such deficient self- regulation of a technology’s use has been theorized by researchers as being related to a breakdown in governing personal need gratification. Given that most human behaviour is regulated by forethought, when behaviour reaps the desired rewards we tend to increase that behaviour. However, when behaviors bring about undesirable effects, users ideally should decrease participation in that activity (Bandura 1991).

Thus, if excessive use of smartphones is problematic financially, distracts from other activities or alienates family and friends, users should decrease participation in the activity in order to regulate those undesirable situations. At some point, however, habit sets in and the behavior becomes more automatic and less regulated by forethought. In addition, the fact that some users may not care that some areas of their lives suffer (e.g. finances, productivity, and self-control) as long as others areas of their lives succeed (e.g. relationships, career), seems to contribute to the addictive response users sometimes have to media technology. Continued research on this topic should look further at aspects of habitual usage tendencies and deficient self-regulation. The true severity of addiction should be analyzed by means of a case study, to see if truly long-term harm comes to users who fail to successfully regulate their media use, in any form. (LaRose et al. 2003).

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