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What Mobile Phone Addiction Can Do?

Categories Cell Phone Addiction, Communication, How Technology Affects Us

Essay, Pages 8 (1799 words)



Essay, Pages 8 (1799 words)

Just like an old saying, introduced by Roman philosopher Seneca, “To be anywhere is to be nowhere” (196). Nowadays, the smartphones and internet provide everyone an access to obtain information around the world without walking out of the house. However, reflected by the growing number of people who own one or more smartphones, some of them gradually realize that the smartphones have become one of the necessities in their daily life, what’s more, some phone users have to check their smartphones again and again with no reason, especially in adolescents this kind of phenomenon is common.

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According to Lisa Merlo, cell phones make modern life more convenient but, they gradually influence the lives of phone owners who cannot control themselves to stop using smartphones. (195) In this case, the smartphone becomes problematic for some of phone users, which means they have been addicted to smartphones. But what smartphone addictions can do or what the effects it can bring to phone users? Smartphone addiction will severely affect people’s lives even health, particularly for teenagers, in generally associated with negative feelings such as anxiety, depression and stress (Hawi, Samaha 52), distracting attentions (Carr 196) and alexithymia (Hao, Jin, etc.


Firstly, according to the paper “Addicted to Phones?”, April. F. B. states that the phone addiction has become a serious problem and interfere people’s lives severely. Cell phones were created to make modern life more convenient but, they also brought addiction, which is one of the most common problems back.

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The phone addiction unlike addictions to alcohol, dugs or gambling, it can be hard to pinpoint problematic cell phone use (Bridwell 195). However, if the phone addiction truly becomes problematic for those who cannot live without smartphones, they will suffer severer anxiety and depression than alcohol or gambling addiction (Merlo 195). In order to get more information about the effects or symptoms of phone addiction, a Japanese group did some research and revealed that children with smartphones usually have no willing to make friends with their peers. In addition, an Italian study also shows that more than one quarter of adolescents owned multiple phones and many of them were typically addicted to their phones. According to Merlo, “Those things lend to the idea that maybe this is an addiction, but maybe it’s manifesting in a little bit different way than you would think of a chemical substance” (196).

Also, addiction causes changes in brain, UF studies have shown, even eating and other behaviors have been shown to produce the same effects in the brain as drugs and alcohol in some people. Although many problems in frequent usage of smartphones have been pointed out by some experts, researchers so far cannot ensure whether a bad habit of using cell phones associated with phone addiction (Birdwell 196). For now, the most efficient advice proposed by Merlo for those who have problems of addiction of smartphones is downgrading the scale of the phone to a basic phone with fewer features and setting limits about where and when to use the phone (196). The concerns of phone addiction seem to focus around one main concern: phone addiction has nearly the same behavior of alcohol or drugs addiction but cannot be easily pinpointed by the main reason of phone addiction. According to Leung’s research, mobile phone addiction is defined as the disordered capabilities to control impulsive emotions without the impact of intoxicants (51).

Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UF College of Medicine claims that “the UF studies have shown that the addiction causes changes in the brain, even eating and other behaviors have been shown to produce the same effects in the brain as drugs and alcohol in some people” (196). However, it is hard to consider that cell phone addiction just come from problematic usage of cell phone since almost everyone has a cell phone and uses it regularly (Merlo 195). In addition, Merlo also said that “it’s this need to be connected, to know what’s going on and be available to other people. That’s one of the hallmarks of cell phone addiction” (195). The research performed by a Japanese science group revealed that mobile phone addiction would cause insomnia and interfere sleep qualities even some physical impairments which would directly result in bad emotions or feeling for phone users especially for the young users (Hardell, Carlberg, etc. 52). Finally, it was clear that cell phone addiction will severely influence people’s daily life even health. Additionally, as Nicholas Carr said in “Does the Internet Make You Dumber?” the internet grants us easy access to unprecedented amounts of information (197).

However, it also pointed out that a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Net is also turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers (Carr 197). In Carr’s opinion, the common thread among these disabilities is the division of attention since people nowadays may be continually distracted by emails, alerts and other messages (197). He said that “When we’re constantly distracted and interrupted, as we tend to be online, our brains are unable to forge the strong and expansive neural connections that give depth distinctiveness to our thinking” (197). According to Patricia Greenfield’s research, different media technologies influence our cognitive abilities for example “visual literacy skills” (198). However, every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others (Greenfield 198). In another experiment, the researchers were surprised by the result which shows that the multitaskers perform poorly on all the tests. Therefore, it is revealing, and distressing, to compare the cognitive effects of the internet with those of an earlier information technology, the printed book unlike the screen, the page promotes contemplativeness. (Carr 198). All in all, to read a book is a different way compared with internet. It is to practice an unnatural process of thought, which require people to place themselves into a completely peaceful environment to think (Carr 198). Among this article, the major problem with the internet is that the internet places people into an environment where they will be interrupted continuously.

According to Carr, “When we’re constantly distracted and interrupted, as we tend to be online, our brains are unable to forge the strong and expansive neural connections that give depth distinctiveness to our thinking” (197). The internet or media will distract people’s attention and interrupt them when some tasks have to be done. As the experiment performed by Stanford University, the researchers gave various cognitive tests to 49 people who do media multitasking and 52 people who multitask much less frequently, the result of this experiment shows that even all of the media multitaskers performed very poorly compared with others, which shows that the internet really distract people’s attention seriously (Carr 197). In addition, Carr also states that “Reading a book is to practice an unnatural process of thought. It requires us to place ourselves at what T. S. Eliot, in his poem ‘Four Quartets’, called ‘the still point of the turning world’” (198). This statement means that reading can promote people into a peaceful situation and concentrate on one single task which is helpful and beneficial. All in all, reading a long sequence of pages helps readers develop a rare kind of mental discipline, which is crucial and beneficial for modern citizens (Carr 198).

Finally, in “Alexithymia and mobile phone addiction in Chinese undergraduate students: The roles of mobile phone use patterns”, Hao and Jin, etc. state that Some researchers have pointed out the robust connection between alexithymia and mobile phone addiction. However, few studies have explored, in which way the mobile phone use patterns influenced this relationship. A survey was conducted and 847 Chinese undergraduate students (aged from 18 to 24) joined in this study. Students were tested with questionnaires for measuring their levels of mobile phone addiction, alexithymia and the frequencies of the categorized mobile phone use patterns. Results showed that alexithymia could positively predict mobile phone addiction directly and indirectly via use patterns of entertainment and transaction. Use pattern of interpersonal communication moderated the direct impact of alexithymia on mobile phone addiction. Findings brought new light on the research subject, presenting the relationship between alexithymia and mobile phone addiction and suggested the education authorities the ways of taking good advantage of mobile phones while minimizing their side effects. The main point and concern of this article is to reveal that the relationship between alexithymia and mobile phone addiction and to explore what the reasons and results of alexithymia and phone addiction (Akram, Saeed 52).

Alexithymia refers to the difficulties an individual experience when identifying and describing emotions in self and others and distinguishing between feelings and bodily sensations and the externally oriented cognitive style (Taylor, Bagby and Parker 280). As research performed by Schimmenti, the mobile phone addictive behaviors were observed as strong predictors and alexithymia displayed significantly connection with internet and phone addictions. (320) Because some exclusive features of mobile phones such as portability and some handy applications have made them a good choice for alexithymic individuals who strongly counted on the internet and cell phones with less interpersonal communications (Huang, Ma 54). According to the China Internet Network Information Center report, until the end of June 2018, 98.3% internet users preferred to use mobile phones to access the internet and the ratio is still rising currently (China Internet Network Information Center 24). In summary, the study examined 847 Chinese undergraduate students and found alexithymia predicted mobile phone addiction directly and indirectly via patterns of entertainment and transaction. This study brought new light on relevant studies and enhanced our understandings (Hao, Jin, etc. 58).

In conclusion, the phone addictions can severely influence people’s daily life and it may cause some bad feelings, low concentrations and alexithymia. Among these total three articles, the mobile phone addiction and its effects have been explained. Just like Merlo said, “Cell phones are a great technology, they are useful in a lot of situations but, it is important to make sure you have some cell phone free time in your day” (196). Cell phones bring convenience also some problems about addictions back, people nowadays ought to pay attention to the time of usage of cell phones per day in case suffering cell phone addictions.


April F. Birdwell “Addicted to Phones?” Sourcework: Academic Writing from Sources (2007): 195-196. Nicholas Carr. “Does the Internet Make You Dumber?” Sourcework: Academic Writing from Sources (2010): 196-198.

Hao, Zejun, [郝则军], Hafiza R. Akram, et al. “Alexithymia and mobile phone addiction in Chinese undergraduate students: The roles of mobile phone use patterns.” Computer in Human Behavior97 (2019): 51-59 Taylor G., Bagby R. et al. “The 20-item Toronto alexithymia scale.”

Journal of Psychosomatic Research55 (2003): 277-283 Schimmenti, A., Passanisi, A. et al. “Traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and internet addiction symptoms among late adolescents: A moderated mediation analysis.” Addictive Behaviors64 (2017): 314-320.

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What Mobile Phone Addiction Can Do?. (2020, Sep 08). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-mobile-phone-addiction-can-do-essay

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