Apple, Samsung, HTC, all these are well known brands for the smart phones. Recently, smart phones are totally shifting the way we think about mobile phone. Mobile phones are not just tools for us to call or texting each other, they have a lot of gestures that facilitate us in our daily life. According to the research done by GO-Gulf. com in 2012, 80% of the world population today owns a mobile phone which is about 5 billion of mobile phones there are in the world, meanwhile 1. 08 billion is smart phone. 89% of the users are using their smart phones throughout the day.
According to these statistics which clearly imply that smart phones bring huge impacts to our daily life. “I fear the day when technology overlaps with our humanity, the world will only had a generation of idiots” – Albert Einstein. Apparently his worries come true, especially towards students. Smart phones do bring a lot of benefits to the students. Students can use it as note pad to record down important notes or as a reminder for the important events. The high accessibility of the smart phones can also help the students to search for the information when they are facing difficulties in their studies.
However, massively adopting in this technology can only cause negative effects towards students’ life. What if students do not use it in good way? What if the students get addicted to the entertainment or the games of the smart phones? What if the students too depend on the smart phone for their studies instead of thinking by themselves? Society, school authorities as well as parents should concern about issues like these and play an important role to prevent students from over-indulging themselves with their smart phones which will influence their health, studies and their social life.
Smart phones do contribute a lot of advantages to the world of technology. Sandy Boyd's BlackBerry had become her passion. Now it has also become a source of pain (Amy Joyce, 2005). However, excessively use of smart phones may be a health hazard to alert the smart phone generation especially the students who have constant indulgence in smart phones. Indeed, it causes ergonomic problems to those who are using their phones for a long period of time. It may be due to the poor posture of the students who constantly stress their necks and lean forward to texting.
This brings acute pain in the necks and shoulders. Consequently, forward-leaning will change one’s posture for good. As we have seen, there are various choices of smart phones that students can opt for. One of the smart phones that is well-known before the launching of iPhone is Blackberry. The QWERTY keypad of Blackberry’s phones makes texting and emailing become easier, but in the meantime it causes hand disability which is known as Blackberry’s Thumb. Similarly, the overuse syndrome has extended to all the smart phone users.
The symptom of Blackberry’s Thumb is the region between the thumb and wrist will begin throbbing when one starts texting. It is argued that the teenagers and young adults throughout the world are becoming so adept at using their thumbs for messaging, they have started to use them for ringing doorbells and pointing (Amy Joyce, 2005). Instead of ringing the doorbells themselves, students tend to call the person in the house to open the door for them. It shows that students are influenced by the power of smart phones.
Massively adopting in smart phones can pose unexpected health risks which are involved arthritis and bacteria. Texting constantly will lead to thumb arthritis. Researchers have found that the repetitive up-and-down and side-to-side movements our thumbs make while texting can cause the basal joint to become inflamed or damaged (http://www. indyposted. com). The habit of using smart phone excessively that students develop is harming them from getting arthritis. Besides, students’ eyes become dry and painful while continually looking at the phone.
Serious eye strain can cause headaches and muscle pain as well as long term problems such as myopia. Students bring smart phones to everywhere with them. Some even bring it to the washroom. They are almost inseparable. So it is very likely for the bacteria to be attached on the surface of their phones wherever they go. Students pick up phone calls and answer it for a certain time by placing phones to their ears and mouths where the most accessible parts for bacteria infection.
Students should be aware of the fact that they are actually risking their precious health by using smart phones excessively. According to a sample test , Dr. Yaseen Hayajneh found that students who do not own a smart phone have a mean CGPA of 3. 31 which is higher than those who do have smart phones which with mean CGPA of 3. 02 (http://www. hayajneh. org, 2011). The CGPA difference between the groups is statistically significant. The difference can be from the fact that students are distracted by smart phones during class.
For instance, students with smart phone are always tend to forget their school works if they are using their smart phone for the purpose of surfing Internet, listening to music or playing games during classes. Some students pay more attention to the games rather than using it for educational purposes. Miserably, students have an illusion that they are increasing interest in learning. Although the distractions in classrooms are something usual, students have always talked, passed notes, daydreamed, slept, or just doodled. However, technology has notably increased the potential and opportunity for distraction.
Before launching smart phones, students may control themselves to be distracted. However, this number has exploded now because the students who own smart phones love to explore new stuff such as new applications, pictures, and watching video while they are in the class. Professor Dennis Adams who is the University of Houston slightly mentions the deprivation of technology: You can be in the front of the classroom and your hair could catch on fire and they will never see it because their eyes are glued to the 14-inch screen at the end of their nose (McWilliams, 2005).
Moreover, they will probably miss out some important classes. This reduces their chances to follow up with the course content or even to get the flying color in the exams since they are not focus in the lecture classes. Besides, students can also cheat with their smart phones. Students can capture the picture of the questions during exam and send it to others to get the correct and satisfied answers or they can also take the picture of the notes before they walk into the examination venue.
Furthermore, students can cheat by simply searching for answer by using the Internet or the search engine through their smart phones during examination. This will lead to the decreasing in academic achievement and social corruption at the same time. In addition, smart phones will also bring serious impacts on students’ social life. Smart phones allow us to be constantly connected to the world, but it makes us even more disconnected from each other. This is because smart phones can change the social norms of students towards the others.
The feather-weight, small size and portability of smart phones get students addicted to them. This is the reason that students fail to make a clear distinction between professional life and personal life. Normally, students use the apps in the smart phones to communicate with their friends and family without face-to-face interaction. Students also spend a lot of their times on social networking, chatting and messaging with different friends. Evidently, it starts to affect the communication between students and the others.
Smart phones present a lack of oral communication which can lead to miscommunication. So the appearance of instant messaging causes students to interact with others through texting other than interacting face-to-face. Moreover, the new way of communication sabotages the relationship between the students and the society. Students tend to spend more time on their smart phones than socializing with others. For an example, students do not listen to their friends as they are focus on their phone screens. This will destroy the relationships between students and society.
Students isolate themselves to focus on playing with smart phones instead of talking to others, especially at home or school even if going out with their friends. It is easy to see that students’ social communication becomes worse since the invention of smart phones. Next, smart phones can cause students to be exposed to dangerous and inappropriate contents. Students have poor judgement that can lead to serious consequences or criminals. For example, students can cheat by using their smartphones during the exam.
Based on the result from Bourne High School, 85% of students said they communicate with their friends with texting by using smart phones. Subsequently, almost half the students send at least one hundred messages per day, while 32% send 51-100 messages. Only 2% of students did not send any messages at all (Kristina E. Hatch, Determine the effect of technology on children, 2011). Once students send a text message or photo, they lose control of it. Some students use texting and photo to hurt or humiliate others. With smart phones, students have instant access to a lot of apps that encourage risky choices and behaviors.
Besides that, students who drive cars are particularly susceptible to driving while being distracted by their smart phones. This leads to an upsurge in car accidents which are involving teenage drivers. In conclusion, excessive use of smart phones does bring severe effects to students’ health, academic achievement and their social life. Massively adopting in smart phones has already influenced the teenage generation. Students should be cautious of the distraction brought by smart phones as the impact that it brings is far beyond our imagination.
School authorities have to cooperate with parents in order to prevent the students from using smart phones excessively. School authorities may set rules like students are prohibited from bringing smart phones to campus. Parents should always keep an eye on their children and limit the time for them to use their smart phones. In this way, students may reduce their time used on the smart phones and be focused in the class. Nevertheless, students use smart phones excessively remains a growing problem that should not be ignored.