Have Mobile Devices Evolved Too Much?

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Today, everything revolves around a cellphone screen. A lot of the time, people have to check their cellphones to stay up-to-date, catch great deals and learn about the latest music. The first cellphone was invented in 1973 and has evolved over the years to make life easier for human beings. But my question is, “Have cellphones evolved too much?”

In the early 2000s, children in middle school were excited to get their first portable phone for Christmas. At this age, children were transitioning into preteens. Sleepovers began and it became even more important for parents to know where their children were and if they were safe. A cellphone was mainly given to middle school children in case of emergencies when they were away from their parents. As time went on, cellphones became the “thing to have”. If someone did not have a cellphone it was easy to feel outdated or disconnected from everyone else. Cellphones have become so prevalent that babies and toddlers have started getting smartphones for birthdays and Christmas presents. Before toddlers know how to speak, they learn to operate a cellphone.

Since 1973, mobile device connections have surpassed the number of people in the world, making it the fastest growing man-made technology phenomenon ever. According to www.online.king.edu, now that 56% of Americans own smartphones, people use their mobile devices to work, play, share, learn, communicate and stave off boredom (2017). Research also has proven that people tap, swipe and click an average of 2,617 times per day (2017). Ranging from multiple different cellphone companies and many versions of smartphones within that company, it is hard to avoid the trend of getting a smartphone, but is it healthier to fight the trend?

Cellphones are higher tech now more than ever. Some compare cellphones to a human brain. People depend on their cellphone more than they do their brain. For example, people used to memorize phone numbers to dial when needing to get in contact with someone. It was easy to memorize a number because it would repeatedly get dialed on a house phone. Today, you have a contact list. A contact list allows you to type in a number and save it under a name. After the number is saved, to contact that person, all you have to know is their name. This process has weakened the memory muscle that humans would usually have to use. Humans have become so dependent on their cellphones that it is affecting the human brain.

According to www.verywellmind.com, studies show that smartphone addiction demonstrates imbalances in brain chemistry compared to a control group (Cherry, 2019). Another study in the Journal of Association for Consumer Research revealed that cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when a smartphone is in reach, even if the phone is off. Scientists are afraid that cellphones might have a detrimental effect on young children’s social and emotional development. Cellphones have evolved so much that they have become a new way to calm and distract children.

Today, it is hard to stay connected if you do not have a mobile device. Cellphones have evolved from being a device to make and receive calls from long distances to today’s new form of entertainment. Billions of people own and use smartphones around the world. Humans are now depending on their cellphones for memorizing, socializing and entertainment for them and their children. Cellphones have evolved in so many ways since the late 1900s. It is currently 2019, and one can only predict how much cellphones will evolve even more in the upcoming years and how many more negative affects it will have on the human brain.

Jade Douglas is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Vicksburg, Mississippi. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2019-2020 school year.

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