Negative And Positive Impact Of Smartphones On People’s Communication Skills

Categories: Communication Skills

How have smartphones had a negative or positive impact on people’s communication skills? Looking around everywhere people have a screen in their face while they ignore the very real people that are physically standing in front of them. Over the years technology has evolved so drastically making smartphones such a large part of everyone's lives. People have preferred to connect with others over a screen rather than in person, causing the loss of the connection between those in people's everyday lives.

Smartphones have had a negative impact on people's communication skills often causing addiction and straining the relationships people have in real life. Also, smartphones act as a crutch considering how greatly people rely on them, whether it is mapping out their next destination or hiding behind a screen to ask out that cute girl from their class. Smartphones continue to have a negative impact on people, particularly regarding brain development, academic writing, and distractions in the work place.

During childhood people often recall their mothers scolding them for sitting too close to the television, saying it could ruin their eyes.

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As it seems there is truth to that. Individuals that are joined to their smartphone at the hip have increased difficulty with decision making. Exposure to as little as two hours of light from a screen decreases the amount of melatonin released by twenty-two percent (Detwiller, 2018). Now not only causing issues during the day for people who obsessively use their smartphones but also now keeping people awake at night, prohibiting a good night’s sleep.

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Even when a person’s intention is to avoid their cell phone they find themselves compulsively checking their phone every few minutes. Ten minutes into being awake, forty-two percent of people already look at their phone. It is becoming a literal addiction. In contrast, people who try in multitask while using a smartphone such as playing a game on their phone and watching television at the same time have an increased ability to retain massive amounts of information at once. Also, people who are heavy smartphone uses have a distorted perception of the amount of screen time they spend on their phone. Most people assume it’s only a few hours a day when it is up to double the amount of screen time they assumed it was. (Detwiller, 2018). Once people become aware of this information they will be more prone to take the steps necessary to separate themselves from their smartphones.

The educational system has come a long way considering the way educators teach and students learn. In the beginning everything was done on paper now most anything is done electronically or on a computer. As more developments in technology were made the more popular smartphones became, specifically with the youth. Smartphones have become such a huge part of people’s life they are inserting text messaging language into academic writing. This is impacting the sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation on one’s academic writing. The way students communicate with smartphones has now also transferred to their academic career (Risto, 2014). People’s preferred form of communication has become via text message rather than face-to-face interactions or even over the phone. The evolution of smartphones not only impact students, but their students as well. In high school, seventy-five percent of educators felt that texting negatively affected their students’ writing and sixty-nine percent of educators felt that social media affected their students’ writing. In middle school, eighty-one percent of educators felt that texting negatively affected their students’ writing and seventy-three percent of educators felt that social media negatively impacted their students writing (Risto, 2014). This is causing a dramatic decline in the academic writing of students.

If someone spends a great deal of time with someone else their habits tend to rub off on each other over time. This may be body language or specific words or sayings that they might pick up on. The same goes for people communicating via text message or social media. After messaging with certain people over time others may begin to use the same lingo. This is referred to as the four phases of the social learning theory. This consists of four phases: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. During phase one is when people observe the behavior around them. Phase two is where people recall the information that they observed in phase one. Phase three is where people imitate the behavior from phase one. Phase four is where people decide to continue this behavior depending on the reaction of those around them (Risto, 2014). Essentially, this creates a new language for them.

Not only do smartphones impact people’s academic career they also impact people’s professional career. This includes obtaining and maintaining a job. You must be able to utilize a sufficient amount of writing skills that don’t include social media lingo to even obtain a job. Of course, this should continue in the workplace as well. If students continue to insert this type of communication into their writing this will create even more barriers for them later (Risto, 2014). Addressing this problem at the source is the first step to finding resolution.

As mentioned before, obsessive smartphone use has also infiltrated the workplace. In the age group eighteen to thirty-seven-year olds, thirty-seven percent disclaim that they spend more than two hours on their smartphone while at work. This is only adding to several distractions already present within the workplace (Moore, 2018). Obviously, this poses a serious problem. If people are spending at the very minimum of two hours on non-related work tasks while at work, productivity is clearly suffering.

Procrastination also seems to be an issue associated with smartphone use in the workplace. Instead of working on their delegated tasks employees are focusing their attention on their smartphones while ignoring their work. This also can cause people to miss deadlines and even go as far as to receiving disciplinary actions for this. Imagine if people spent the amount of time doing their work, rather than wasting time on their smartphones. The amount of work they would be able to accomplish would be substantial. Most employees must attend meetings regularly. Of course, their smartphones are tagging right along with them. Employees’ smartphones then ring causing the meeting to be interrupted. Also, this could potentially cause the meeting to go longer than anticipated. Once again causing the productivity of work to suffer.

Another critical issue is a security risk. Most jobs people are required to work with sensitive information of others. Employees may do their work on the same device that they use for their personal lives. It is possible that someone could release confidential information accidentally simply by being distracted by their smartphone. Then they may even face termination or legal repercussions depending on the kind of information that was released. Essentially, it is better for employees to keep their smartphones separate from their work lives to avoid this situation.

In contrast, there are also some benefits of smartphones. Smartphones have opened opportunity for those that have difficulty with face-to-face interaction. Smartphones allow people to talk to people strictly over applications or via text message. This helps people to gain confidence in their communication skills (Rice & Wakefield, 2008). Eventually, to transfer these communication skills to face-to-face interactions.

The numerous aspects of the negative impact of smartphones on people outweigh the positive impact on people. Smartphones continue to add to the deterioration on the functionality of the brain, the inability to separate social media lingo from academic writing, and the unproductivity in the workplace. People’s continuous use of the smartphone has caused their response time to lack, specifically when making decisions (Detwiller, 2018). Students’ inability to distance themselves from their smartphones has strained their ability to become proficient writers (Risto, 2018). In the workplace employees are wasting more time on their smartphones that they could be utilizing to get their work accomplished (Moore, 2018). Although, smartphones have enabled people to build their confidence by allowing them to communicate through a screen (Rice & Wakefield, 2008). Awareness to this rising issue is key. If people are aware of the power smartphones can hold over them they can take the necessary precautions to fix this issue.

Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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Negative And Positive Impact Of Smartphones On People’s Communication Skills. (2024, Feb 21). Retrieved from

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