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Research Essay Rough Draft

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John West

English 101 N-20

28 November 2018

Research Essay Rough Draft

        You can just take a walk in any big city and you will see them everywhere. People of all ages have them as well no matter how young some of the people you see are. You go to parties at friends’ houses and you don’t see people socializing, rather you see them on their phones. It’s also somewhat ironic as a lot of the time these people are texting somebody at the party that are sitting right across from them. You hear all the criticism from adults about how smartphones are ruining today’s youth and to an extent that is true. Smartphones have provided some great things that we have today, but overall I believe smartphones are hurting today’s youth. I believe that it is affecting their social skills and their health both mentally and physically. In addition, I believe these problems are a product of social media and that if we spend less time on our devices and specifically less time on social media that it will go a long way for our livelihood.

        One of the main uses of a smartphone is to access social media which is one of the main problems with today’s youth when it comes to social skills. Many people nowadays are uncomfortable talking in public and in front of large crowds. You see it in classrooms all the time. The teacher will ask a question and even though many people know the answer, they don’t want to say it. This I believe is due to teenagers shifting their communication from face to face to interacting on social media. According to surveys done by Cancer Research UK the stats are proving that shift. Based on the research from the study 44 percent of the 18-24 year olds that were surveyed said that they were more comfortable speaking to new people on social media while only 37% said that they were more comfortable speaking face to face. This is compared to over two thirds of people over the age of 55 saying they would be more comfortable speaking face to face (Polianskaya 1). Also there was a case study performed by the University of Sargodha conducting a survey looking for the effect social media has on a student’s everyday life. They asked students whether they use social media or not for communication. In table 2, out of 380 students that were surveyed, 299 said that they either agreed or strongly agreed with using social media as a source of communication (Ali 371). People are becoming so uncomfortable that they would rather speak to a person they can’t even see rather than go up to somebody that is physically there. The reason I believe that is that when people are behind a keyboard people are given a sense of security. In the words of Michael J. Formica who is a certified counselor in Pennsylvania, it is creating a social distance which means people believe that because they are behind the keyboard that that conversation has lesser meaning (Formica 3).

        Now some could argue that the world is changing and becoming more digital which means that these social issues aren’t that big of a problem. I would beg to differ though as there are always going to be certain situations in life where you are going to have to communicate with another human being.  One case study that was conducted by University of Malaysia Sabah was testing the social skills and how it was connected to social media. Their sample was a group of young TESL students in which communication is key to teach students. During the experiment they found that not many of the students were addicted to social media but that the ones who were had significantly less social skills. It was concluded that the ones who were addicted will tend to disengage from reality and that they would have trouble in daily face-to-face conversations (Rahman 218). This just goes to show no matter how much people are communicating through the social media route you will need to have some sort of social skills to help you in day to day situations.

        Another problem that smartphones have created are physical health issues. There are wide range of physical health problems that can be related to using technology and one of the problems is sleep deprivation. We all have at one time in our life have turned off our lights right as we are getting in bed and immediately have gotten on our phone. Well no matter how much you think you need to check your phone, you shouldn’t do it. The reason why is because smartphones release a light that can prevent you from falling asleep. According to an article done by a nurse named Kathryn Murphy she says that smartphones have light emitting diodes in them that release blue wavelength light. Prolonged exposure to this blue wavelength light can cause eye strain and fatigue. Also exposure to this light can suppress melatonin, which is a hormone that induces sleep and can increase alertness when you wake up the next morning (Murphy 7). So when you wake up in the morning and you are struggling to come to your senses while getting out of the bed, you should think back whether or not you used your smartphone last night.

        Sleep deprivation is not the only physical problem that smartphones can create. It also can create vision problems that stick with you for the rest of your life. According to the article Murphy wrote, smartphones can cause symptoms such as dry eyes, double vision, light sensitivity, fatigue, and headaches. Also that same blue wavelength light can penetrate deep into the eye and damage retinal cells (Murphy 9). This is a huge problem which is why children should have very little exposure to a smart phone. This is also due to the fact that this retinal damage can cause nearsightedness (Murphy 9). Despite all this information that this article so beautifully states, this is not the case as parents willingly allow children as young as four to use smartphones. Also there was a case study conducted by researchers at Jordan University of how general health is affected by smartphones. The information they were able to gather was astonishing. Out of the 357 people who were surveyed, 65.5% admitted to having headaches. This goes along with 66.7% saying they had eye irritation and 72.5% saying they had ear problems (Qasim 284). Whether people admit it or not, the fact of the matter is health problems are rising the more people buy smartphones.



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