Misuse of Cell Phones

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Nomophobia is a term that the medical field has actually come up with for the behavioral addiction to cell phones. It translates to no mobile phone phobia and various other terms such as mobile phone dependence can be associated with this addiction. Susan Ladika addresses in the article, Technology Addiction, that those who are addicted to cell phones had more neurotransmitter activity in the region of the brain tied to rewards, mood regulation, and control of inhibition (5).

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The brain of those addicted is actually being altered. Smartphones encourage multitasking. However, no matter how much one may feel accomplished by multitasking, it has been proven that multitasking decreases the level of performance in all tasks. Unless someone is a genius, for most people, it is nearly impossible to divide their attention evenly and effectively between several tasks. One common example of multitasking is distracted driving. People feel enticed to look at their phones while in control of a vehicle. This proves to be extremely dangerous because driving requires undivided attention. Despite this being known as common knowledge, people still look at their phones while driving or even just stopped at a light. In the article The Smartphone Effect, Becca Broaddus reports that The United States Department of Transportation reported cell phones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year that cause a half million injuries and take approximately 6,000 lives (12). Increased use of cell phones has also been proven to desensitize people to sensational content, such as violence, sex, and drugs. Never before has such content been so accessible and pervasive. Authors, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano, point out in Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill, that by age eighteen, a U.S. youth will have seen at last 40,000 stimulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence (15). This is all thanks to the media, in which violent videos draw in more revenue.

The more one uses their phone, the higher the chance they use social media more often. According to Sherry Turkle, the author of Reclaiming Conversation, the pressure of appearing perfect and fabricating this perfect life is mentally and emotionally exhausting. Thus, misuse of cell phones leads to feelings of depression and social anxiety (25). Loss of focus, feeling of depression and anxiety, and the large chunk of time a cellular device takes from a person, all combined, lead to lower academic performance. School work is no longer at the forefront of student’s brains, but rather their cellphones or their feelings of sadness.

Symptoms of cell phone dependence also include several disorders. Cell phones deliver instant gratification. A person can get a package from Amazon the next day, people respond to text messages within a few minutes, and so on. Ramanpreet Kaur and Saroj Sharma Nagpal explain how people who are impulsive are psychologically unable to choose delayed rewards which may offer more,

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