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Smartphones: Destroying a Generation or Bringing It Together?

Essay by   •  February 19, 2019  •  Article Review  •  1,276 Words (6 Pages)  •  101 Views

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Smartphones: Destroying a Generation or Bringing it Together?

Get off your phone it's time for bed!

Put down the tapper and read a book.

Go outside, you could use an hour off the screen.

You are phoned addicted!

Weather it’s texting our friends during class, responding to Snapchats during a movie at a theater or even scrolling through your Instagram feed in the bathroom, smartphones have completely changed the way we go about our day. Our phones have altered our lives immensely and weather it was for the better or worse, well, that’s up to you.

The debate about smartphones and their correlation with our mood has been a hot topic of discussion since the release of the first ever iPhone in 2007. Psychology professor and writer for The Atlantic, Jean Twenge shows her ideas about the smartphone movement in her eye catching article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”. Twenge uses an abundant amount of ethos, logos and pathos as well as her personal opinions and her obvious bias to express to the readers that the popularity of the smartphone has gotten out of hand and may be the cause to our sadder, less involved generation.

As soon as the article beings, the author’s attempt in developing credibility is shown. She immediately introduces us to Athena, a thirteen year old girl who very much enjoys spending time on her smartphone talking to her friends (Twenge 1). Twenge describes the young girls day and how a majority of it is spent on her cell phone. Rather than going to the mall or seeing a movie with her friends, that interaction is all done at her fingertips. While many adults most likely see this as unusual and worrisome, as a lot of teens do spend their days looking at their screens, not all teenagers day’s revolve around their iPhone. While Athena and her friends may spend their day Snapchatting or texting, my friends and I use those applications to communicate plans then get together after those arrangements have been made. The smartphone makes it very easy to be connected with our peers without even stepping outside. The evidence the author chose to include was very specific to her point of view and shows no evidence from the opposing side. While smartphones may be tying some kids down to their beds all day, they also act as a source of communication to make those plans that the author believes are never made. Without our devices, I suspect it would be much more difficult to arrange hangouts than it currently is with them. The author lacks evidence to support this because it contradicts her point of view. This makes the her bias very obvious and is shown to be getting in the way of an impartial claim on the effect smartphones have on our lives. The obvious counterclaim is not addressed therefore readers should be careful when accepting Jean Twenge’s claim.

Throughout the piece, it is very obvious who the author’s target audience is. It is evident, in many instances and the one that stuck out to me was when Twenge talked about the teens from her days that spent their Friday nights at the skating rink and directly comparing them to current teens spending time on their phone. “The rink was a place where kids could get away from their parents and inhabit a world of their own, a world where they could drink, smoke, and make out in the backs of their cars” (Twenge 4). The author was attempting to gain credibility among parents and adults from her generation that may have spent their time doing similar things, but from a critics standpoint who was not around during an age when drinking and smoking illegally was as popular, is able to notice her contradicting statements. The author declares this generation as being destroyed, yet also points out the lower rates of alcohol use, sex, smoking, and car accidents than previous generations. How could it be destroyed with such positive statistics on it’s side. If this is what a destroyed generation looks like, then we can only hope for more future destruction. By calling this a destroyed generation, it is clear that all of the positive trends have had little effect on our author. It’s evident that Twenge is unable to put aside the popularity and positive aspects of the smartphone and take into consideration other environmental factors that may be contributing to the increase in depression, loneliness and suicide rates. The author is calling parents to encourage their kids to put down their devices as her studies show that smartphones are clearly related to the increase in these negative things and the decrease in social interaction among children and teenagers. “The correlation between depression and smartphone use are strong enough to suggest that more



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