I remember 10 years ago envying my sister’s cellphone though it only had application for texting , calling and taking pictures . And 10 years later , now , I find myself in awe watching kids as young as 3 years old playing game and watching ‘Upin dan Ipin’ on their own tab in their own world , primary school students texting their friends asking about homeworks , mothers watching cookery videos while cooking in the kitchen and grandfathers using their smartphone to read the news . Smartphone is inextricable and inseparable from everyone’s life . The world is rapidly developing and changing because of smartphone . Smartphones have only been around for two decades , but they’ve since come this far and they make us wonder , what else is there waiting for us in the upcoming years ?

Smartphone is a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system which combines features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use .

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Devices that combined telephony and computing were first conceptualized by Tesla 1909 and Theodore Paraskevakos in 1971 and patented in 1974 . IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator , the first ever smartphone showed its face in 1992 . In addition to its ability to make and receive cellular phone calls , Simon was able to send and receive faxes and emails and included several other apps like address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator and note pad . Then , Nokia entered the not-yet-developed smartphone space in 1996 . Qualcomm,Ericsson,Palm.Inc and many more manufaturers too entered the industry . As time passes,more and more upgraded versions of smartphones are introduced .

So , done with the ice-breaking let us get back to our main topic here .

Smartphone deteriorates us physically , socially and mentally .

Many researches have been made regarding effects of smartphone on the health and it is proven that smartphone harms us physically,socially and worst of all mentally.

First of all , ask yourself now , do you still memorize phone numbers or keep a list of phone numbers in your wallet ? And , when faced with difficult questions , do you think carefully to find the answers ? Or , in both conditions , do you grab your smartphones first to get the answers ?

Our smartphones without doubt help us to find phone numbers quickly and provide us with instant informations , but new research indicates that this convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking for ourselves .

Based on a study by University of Waterloo entitled , “The brain in your pocket :  Evidence that smartphones are used to supplant thinking . Computers in Human Behavior”, one of the co-author said that smartphones are associated to lowered intelligence . Several proofs have been laid . A study which was conducted on 660 participants had the researchers examining various measures including cognitive ability or the participant . Then , they looked at the association between cognitive ability and participants’ smartphone habits . Participants in the study who demonstrated stronger cognitive skills and a greater willingness to think in an analytical way actually had spent less time using their smartphones’ search-engine function whereby those who had weaker cognitive skills relied on their smartphone for answer . Smartphone allows them to be lazier than they can be in thinking .

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How the children will be affected?

“They may look up information that they actually know or could easily learn , but are unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it ,” study co-lead author Gordon Pennycook a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo , said in a statement.

Lethargic thinking isn’t the only negative effect of smartphones . In a comment appearing in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine took a closer look at the available literature on smartphone and iPad use among very young  children .

The researches have arrived to a series of unsettling conclusions . They said children younger than 30 months cannot learn from television and videos as they do from real life interaction . Smartphone could interfere with a child’s growing sense of empathy or problem-solving skill .

“If these devices become the predominant method to calm and distract young children , will they be able to develop their own internal mechanisms of self-regulation ?” the researchers questioned .

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unplugging ourselves from smartphones can be a challenge!

Other than that , smartphone could also harm us physically as it may destroy our body posture , damage our hearing and disturb our sleep . It has also been studied that the blue light emitted by smartphones decrease the production of melatonin thus disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm . Normally, blue light peaks in the morning, signaling your body to wake up for the day . Red light increases in the evening, signaling that it is time to go to bed . By interrupting this natural cycle with the blue light emitted by mobile devices , the normal sleep-wake cycles will be disturbed .

And now , researchers are investigating if the blue light can cause cataract .

 

These three summarized harmful effects of smartphone are just a small portion compared to all the effects which are mostly known to all .Technology is meant to make life easier . But , day by day , more of its harmful effects are discovered . So , should we stop using smartphones ? In a technology-dominated world , unplugging ourselves from smartphones can be a challenge . So , by knowing the effects , we should reduce its usage . Also , avoid looking at smartphone before sleep and mothers should not coax their children who gives tantrum by making them play smartphone . And , ask yourself if you know the answer to the difficult question or the phone number of a friend or directions to a place before reaching to your phone – peeking to th interweb .

Or would you rather leave all the thinking works for smartphone to do?

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

http://pocketnow.com/2014/07/28/the-evolution-of-the-smartphone

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/technology/smartphone-reliance-and-lazy-thinking

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/reliance-smartphones-linked-lazy-thinking

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/smartphone-body-mind/

MINDA PIMPINAN

Atikah bt.Musa
Year 4
Medicine School
Ain Shams University

Vice Leader of Sport and Outdoor Activities Bureau
PERUBATAN Ain Shams Chapter 2015/2016

STATEMENT
This article is the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of PERUBATAN Online.