What are possible effects of cell phones on teenagers? There are several ways in which cell phones can affect teenagers, such as educational, social and health, which can all be both positive and negative. Social effects of cell phones can be sex-ting, cyberbullying and social networking. Educational effects are effects relating school and education of a teenager. Health effects are health risks and benefits for a teenager while using a cell phone. There are many different effects of cell phones on teenagers but the ost important ones that are mainly looked at are educational, social and health. This essay will cover the positive and negative educational, social and health effects of cell phones specifically on teenagers. 2. 0 Discussion 2. 1 Positive and Negative Social Effects of Cell Phones on Teenagers Firstly, mobile infrastructure has changed during the past decade and this increase has become so apparent that you hardly ever come in contact with someone who does not possess a mobile phone or other mobile device.
It is becoming increasingly easy and inexpensive for teenagers to contact friends and access information via their mobile phones (Reid and Reid 2007, p. 424). Teenagers run their social lives on cell phones and today, 77 percent of teenagers aged 12-17 report having a cell phone (Tippin 2012). Cell phones have become prominent aspect of teenager’s everyday life; in fact the mobile phones have turned from a technological tool to a social tool. Especially text messaging has increased significantly and is teenagers most frequent way of communicating.
Study shows that 63% of all teens said they exchanged text messages on a daily basis (Tippin 2012). As it is evident that majority of teen’s posses a cell phone it is important to understand the positive as well as negative social effects of it on teenagers. “Research on cyberbullying sponsored by Opennet has found that teenager who are ‘heavy cell phone users’ are more likely to engage in the practice of bullying online, as well as become bullied themselves” (Osborne 2012). Cyberbullying is bullying with the intention to torment a person with the use of technology.
Statistics show that 46 percent of heavy cell phone users experience cyberbullying on their phones (Osborne 2012). Cyberbullying through a cell phone can be a serious issue and can cause very negative effects on a teenager, in fact kids that are bullied are likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, unhappiness, and poor sleep. Such negative effects of bullying are often overlooked, because many victims feel the need to hide the fact that they are being bullied, they become shy and fearful of further abuse.
Typically they tend to become anxious, less confident, and quieter. As a result, bullying can be a hindrance to their academic performance. Therefore, bullying is a problem that if left unattended, can be a significant obstacle in child’s social development. (“American Osteopathic Association,” n. d). Even though there are negative social effects of cell phones on teenagers such as cyberbullying there are positive advantages as well. An obvious advantage of a mobile phone is that it can help teens to communicate with others.
If a teenager was lost perhaps he or she can seek help immediately by a cell phone at any time, in any place and cell phones also allow its users to make long distance calls which makes it a lot easier for them to communicate with friends and family who are distant. With cell phones video and camera functions, teens now have more opportunities to record and report any criminal events which they have witnessed. These pieces of evidence could greatly help authorities solve crimes faster (Baker 2012).
Cell phones are very useful devices for communication as well as they are compulsory as they used as safety devices especially in emergencies (Ravidchandran, 2009). Therefore it is important to understand the social effects of cell phones on teenagers because although it could harm teenager’s development, it can also benefit as well as provide safety and security for the child. 2. 2 Positive and Negative Educational Effects of Cell Phones on Teenagers Secondly, the topic of cell phones affecting teenagers’ education is very controversial.
Cell phones can be a major distraction to learning when students use them improperly. Cell phones can affect teenagers’ grades by being distracted with sending text messages, playing games on their phones and receiving zeros if they are caught cheating during a test. When texting teenagers use short acronyms such as laugh out loud (LOL), be right back (BRB), talk to you later (TTYL) which can significantly lead to a decline in their language and grammar skills. (Connie, 2012).
Edutopia, an educational website, conducted an online poll regarding this issue of whether text messaging harms students’ writing skills. Out of 3359 votes, 1788 votes (53%) chose “Yes, I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments. ” 851 votes (25%) chose “No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate. ” 613 votes (18%) chose “Maybe.
Although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I don’t think it’s a significant problem” (Ring, 2009). As it is evident that the majority voted that students are using their habits they have picked up through text messages in school assignments, it shows the decline of teenage students grammar skills. Although cell phones can have such a negative effect on teenagers’ education it can also provide positive benefits such as an aid for learning. With a cell phone, the students could make organizers, research work and do their projects.
Cell phones have applications which can be installed individually and there are thousands of useful apps that a teenager could use at school for education, such as dictionaries to define words and phrases. Students can now take part in a mobile device learning program called “Hotsteat,” which allows students to post comments on a Twitter-like feed from a question posted by a professor, and can be accessed through a mobile device with the app. Another program called “Remind101” which is a free site that is created for teachers and students to create text, reminders for projects quizzes, test, labs, class activities and homework.
Teacher have to create an account and upload all class projects, activities, homework and assignments, then students can log in to the website, subscribe to their class and automatically receive all reminders (Dunn, 2011). Therefore, it is important to understand the educational effects of cell phones on teenagers because although schools report that student’s mobile phone use disrupts teaching and reduces student’s attention in class, which results in a negative educational outcome.
It is also important to understand the benefits that cell phones bring to teenagers education by having organizers, notes, reminders and discussion groups all at their finger tips. For these reasons, teenagers get more encouragement to initiate their learning. 2. 3 Positive and Negative Health Effects of Cell Phones on Teenagers Lastly, “teenagers who overuse cell phone texting or social networking Web sites have disturbingly high rates of a wide range of health risk behaviors” (Jancin, 2011). Gaby Badre, M. D. , Ph. D. of Sahlgren’s Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden conducted research on the affects of cell phone usage on sleep patterns in teens. Research focused on two groups: a control group of three men and seven women compared with variable group of three men and eight women. When compared the control group against the variable group, Badre found that adolescents with excessive cell phone habits are more habituated to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress, more consumption of stimulating beverages and fatigue (“American Academy of Sleep Medicine” 2008).
According to Badre, addiction to cell phone is becoming common. Youngsters (teenagers) feel a group pressure to remain inter-connected and reachable round the clock. Children start to use mobile phones at an early stage of their life. There seem to be a connection between intensive use of cell phones and health compromising behaviour such as smoking, snuffing and use of alcohol (“American Academy of Sleep Medicine” 2008). Dr. Frank conducted a survey which was completed by 4,257 teens at 20 schools in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Based upon the responses these “hypertexters” who are teenagers that have self-reported texting an average of 120 or more times per day on school days are “twofold more likely to have ever tried alcohol, 43% more likely to be binge drinkers, 32% more likely to be current users of marijuana, and 40% more likely to have tried cigarettes than kids who texted less or, as was true for 22% of students, not at all” (Jancin, 2011). This shows the significant impact of cell phone effects on teenagers’ health, but although there are so many negative health effects of cell phones there are just as much positive effects.
Certainly it is true that for teenagers, cell phones offer openings for conversations as well as ways of keeping up appearances by looking busy, appearing confident, popular, or relieving meeting boredom. And phones, like smoking, can be used as a defence mechanism, attention speaking behaviour as well as a way to stand out from the ‘Lonely Crowd’ (Cross, 2006) Texting with cell phones can provide health education, to campaign against smoking and behavior. For example in New Zealand an experiment was conducted with two groups, first group received text message support and the other group did not receive any text messages.
The results showed that the number of people who stopped smoking was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group which did not receive text message based support. “Add this to the Action on Smoking findings five years ago and there is a real case for hailing mobile phone effectiveness in limiting smoking amongst Teenagers” (Cross, 2006) Although in this program cell phones did not provide direct health benefits but by constantly texting teenagers and giving them support it significantly decreased the number of smokers.
Therefore it is important to understand the health effects of cell phones on teenagers because although mobile phones can have negative effects such as lead teenagers into drinking and drug use, it can also have positive effects and be used as a defence mechanism to cope with anxiety. 3. 0 Summary Cell phones are a tool of convenience and that is why almost 80% of all teenagers use one (Tippin, 2012).
However having cell phones can be very negative effect on teenagers, “research on cyberbullying sponsored by Opennet has found that teenager who are ‘heavy cell phone users’ are more likely to engage in the practice of bullying online, as well as become bullied themselves” (Osborne 2012) and teenagers that are bullied are likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, unhappiness, and poor sleep. These social effects of cell phones on teenagers can also affect their health. Gaby Badre, M. D. , Ph. D. of Sahlgren’s Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden conducted research and found that adolescents with excessive cell phone habits are more habituated to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress, more consumption of stimulating beverages and fatigue (“American Academy of Sleep Medicine” 2008), which all contribute to negative health effects. Teenagers advantage of having cell phone at their finger tips can affect their school grades by being distracted with sending text messages, playing games on their phones and receiving zeros if they are caught cheating during a test.
But having a cell phone now makes people reachable in almost any location and this makes individuals easier to contact. Ease of access is not the only benefit of cell phones; they offer features that have many other benefits. Cell phones have become an important part of society today, while schools think that cell phone usage should not occur in schools, it is imperative that they acknowledge that cell phones are extremely important to the safety of our children in school.
Several schools state that you could use the telephone in the main office to call home in an emergency, but if there ever was a true emergency the phone in the main office would be surrounded by people trying to get in contact with their loved ones and chaos would be lurking. Having a cell phone enables them to contact loved ones with ease during an emergency. Also computers at schools can malfunction and stop students from getting information.
However, new technology on cell phones allows them to access the internet and enable them to complete research with ease. Cell phones have organizers which help students write down their homework and help them to keep organized. 4. 0 Conclusion Cell phones are great invention. However, most schools in Ontario ban cell phone use at schools although, as it was stated in “The Japan Times” article “banning cell phones does not succeed in teaching students how, when and where an adult would use a cell phone (“The Japan Times”, 2008).
Therefore, schools should not simply ban cell phones because of their negative effects on teenage students but teach them when and where the appropriate time and place is to use one. Schools should also look at positive side of cell phone use on teenagers because they can be a great educational tool. As Lisa Baker has mentioned “some high schools take advantage of educational games for cell phones. Educators can teach students how to use their phones as research tools, which encourages youth to take more initiative in their own learning (Baker, 2012).
There are also social and health effects of cell phones on teenagers, which can be both also negative as well as positive. Before looking at negative effects of cell phone on teenagers, we should understand why they were first invented and the benefits they bring to our daily life. Therefore, although there are so many effects of cell phones on teenagers it is important to understand the main ones that are mainly looked at such as social, educational and health effects.