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Smartphone Addiction and its Consequences

Smartphone+Addiction+and+its+Consequences

Have you ever stared mindlessly at your phone, and even though you knew you had better things to do, you continued to stare at it? No matter what you did, you felt compelled to open it. This is what you might call a smartphone addiction. Some might say that I’m reaching and that this is just their way of procrastinating. But, have you ever lost your phone? What was that feeling you felt? Did you panic? Cry? Lash out? If you said yes to any of these things, then you might be addicted to your phone.

In today’s day and age, almost everybody has a phone on them at all times. From a young child to a full-grown adult, everybody has a phone. While you might think that I’m overexaggerating, studies show otherwise. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2020, about 97% of Americans owned a phone. In 2020, the United States population was 330 million. When you calculate it, that means that out of those 330 million people, only 10 million of them do not own a phone. That means that 320 million people in America alone own a phone. This allows me to move on to my main point.

Do you remember when you got your first phone? How old were you? You probably felt really happy, right? Well, that happiness was actually just your brain releasing a chemical called “dopamine”. Dopamine is released by your brain as a way to reward you when you do something you enjoy. So, as you continue to use your phone and be entertained, your brain ends up associating that rush of dopamine with your phone. This is what causes you to become addicted, you get hooked on that rush of dopamine, and you continue to seek ways of entertaining yourself, whether it be social media, playing video games, or just chatting with friends. Your brain is constantly trying to find ways to get that rush.

So, why is it bad? While it’s nice to feel that rush of dopamine once in a while, it’s very unhealthy to have too much stimulation. Like I’ve said before, as you continue to seek that rush of dopamine you’ll be wanting more and more each day, causing you to spend extra time on your phone. Too much phone usage is unhealthy for you, and studies show that it can even be linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of sleep.

While it’s nice to scroll on TikTok or to talk to your friends over the phone, it’d be nicer if you actually talked to them in real life. So, why not try unplugging and enjoying life? You’ll find that it’s much nicer than staring at a screen.

Sources consulted:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9368281/#:~:text=A%20three%2Dyear%20longitudinal%20study,loneliness%20%5B8%2C9%5D.
  • https://www.verizon.com/articles/cell-phone-addiction/#:~:text=There%20are%20other%20negative%20effects,stress%20and%20low%20emotional%20stability.
  • https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/
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About the Contributor
Mary Lisondra, Student Writer
This is Mary Lisondra! She is a freshman this year, and this is her first year as a writer for The Gull. Her love for writing has gravitated her towards The Gull. While she’s not gifted in it (her opinion, not ours!), she does love letting her opinion be known. She enjoys drawing, playing badminton, hanging out with friends, and watching commentaries on niche topics.

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