If what is the difference between smartphones and

If we look 30 years
back, everyone owns a mobile phone with top brands at that time such as Nokia,
Motorola, and Sony. However, nowadays mobile phones are outdated and
smartphones became a trend. Everyone owns at least a smartphone and some of us
have more than one. But then, what is the difference between smartphones and
mobile phones? Actually, smartphones and mobile phone have no difference at all
as both exist for the same reason, connect one people with another. Many
researchers have made a research about smartphones ownership. Surprisingly, in
developing and emerging countries have smartphone ownership rate at a median of
21% in 2013 and climbing up to 37% in 2015 (Rainie,2017). Due to the ownership
of smartphone increase rapidly, Dr. Giovanna (2014), who conducted a Group
Special Mobile Association (GSMA) has surveyed across several European
countries to investigate the ownership of smartphone among children – Belgium,
Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom. In the result,
69% of children use a mobile phone and two third of them are using smartphones.
Besides, 10 to 12 years old were the most common ages to receive a smartphone
for the first time. However, smartphones intelligence comes along with internet
connection which will harm children. GSMA has reported in 2014, 71% of all
children surveyed who used smartphones access the internet on their
smartphones. At age 12, more than 50% of European children surveyed access the
mobile internet while 26% of those in Japan. In this term paper, we are
focusing on children below 13 years old who are easily influenced by the
harmful effect of the smartphones as they received for the first time. In part
of that, there are many harmful effects for children below 13 years old to own
a smartphone such as health problem, cyberbullying, and lack of interpersonal
skills. 

            Megan
Meier suicide case (died 3 weeks before her 14th birthday) proved that
smartphones are not suitable for children below 13 because they are not ready
to take all the risks (Pokin, 2007). Moreover, Weinberger (2014), who wrote the
smartphone and internet safety book “The Boogeyman Exists: And He’s in Your
Child’s Back Pocket,” said she had surveyed 70,000 children in the last 18
months and found that, on average, sexting began in the fifth grade,
pornography consumption began when children turned 8, and pornography addiction
began around age 11. In a separate study published this year, Common Sense
Media polled 1,240 parents and children, found 50% of the children admitted
that they were addicted to their smartphones. It also found that 66% of parent
regret as their children used smartphones all day long, and 52% of children
agreed with this statements. About 36% of parents disagree with their children about
daily device use (Chen, 2016). Because of smartphones, everything is at the
children’s fingertips. As they are allowed to access everything without
restriction, they are one step closer to online bullies, wasting time games and
even sexting apps. 

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            The
first argument states that smartphone will affect children health. The
sensuality of children increases because smartphone gives many information and
entertainment matter. As smartphone has an interesting user interface and how
the light radiates, it addicts the child’s brain. According to the Internet
addiction research results conducted by the National Information Society Agency
in 2013, the risk level of smartphone addiction from children (25.5%), which is
higher than the risk level for adults (8.9%) and this level has shown a steep
rise each year: 11.4% in 2011, 18.4% in 2012, and 25.5% in 2012 (Korea
Information Security Agency, 2013, pp. 117–118). In addition, a recent study by
Lebowitz (2016), demonstrates that many people who are utilising the smartphone
in the dark were related to more regrettable rest quality, more sleep
deprivation, and more side effects that lead to cancer. To prove this stronger,
a scientists Dr. Ali (2016) from National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery,
London, United Kingdom states that that the effects of RF-EMF (radio-recurrence
electromagnetic field) radiates from the smartphone will affect children mind.
The reproduction of high concentration of blue light, which is especially
powerful at smothering melatonin in system body will affect children to stay up
longer at night. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland (a small gland
located in the brain) which helps to control our sleep cycle. By disturbing
melatonin generation, smartphone light will destroy children rest plans.
Unorganised sleep cycle will cause an ineffective learning session and might
leave distracted and impair their memory the next day. Moreover, the blue light
ray could damage people vision by warming the retina over time and the tendency
of children having eye blindness will increase when they often use their
smartphones after turning the lights off. A medical journal has revealed a
young lady has lost her vision for up to 15 minutes on end, thus a group of
London eye expert has concluded it is due to their habit of checking their smartphones
in the dark (Chen, 2016). In addition, the smartphone also lead to obesity.
Researchers from University of Harvard School of Public Health found that
children who spend hours a day on smartphones may be more likely to become
obese than those who are not spending so much time on these electronic devices
(Chen, 2016). From the all the evidences, it shows that smartphone will inhibit
a perfect children growth. 

 

            Other than that, cyberbully is one of the harmful effects of
smartphones towards children. Calling a person or group by insulting, abusive
or offensive language is considered as a cyberbully. An offensive language is
defined by hateful, pornographic and abusive language (Janschewitz, 2008). An
article from The Guardian released on November 14, 2014, wrote that “in a poll
of 11 to 17-year-olds, 35% reported that they have experienced cyberbullying –
compared with 16% last year. Four over 10 said they had witnessed others being
picked on online – almost double the 22% recorded last year.” (Amanda, 2015).
Moreover, the number of children use dating app such as WeChat increase every
day which shows that they are exposed to cyberbully at any moment. Cyberbully
recorded a history where children commit suicide because of cyberbully attack.
Megan Meier is one of the cyberbully victims which led to suicide. Her full
name is Megan Taylor Meier was born on November 6, 1992. Megan had Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as she has a problem with losing her
weight even she was an active girl during her school times. She was attacked by
girls, pretending to be a boy that liked her on Myspace and then rejected her,
led her to hang herself and died 3 weeks before her 14th birthday (Pokin, 2007).
Due to cyberbully attack getting rampant, popular online social networking such
as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook implemented offensive content filtering which
can hide all comments containing offensive language from other users. However,
mostly offensive language filter is not 100% accurate because of it only focus
on sentence-level and message-level constructs. Thus, children are still exposed
to offensive language (Chen, 2016). All the evidences prove that smartphones
can cause cyberbully. 

 

            Next,
smartphone has harmful effects on children where they will become anti-socialised
and lack of interpersonal connections. As children nowadays are too often
spending their time on the smartphone or tablet, it will affect their
interpersonal connections and even emotions. In addition, spending too much
time on smartphone cause children to suffer from narcissism and empathy
disorder. It leads children to some sort of selfishness and hard to understand
others feeling. Based on statistic reported, among adolescents aged 13 to 17,
45% access social media and 73% access smartphone 2 hours a day on average
(Amanda, 2015). Other than that, the presence of smartphones and other devices
can inhibit intimacy when interacting with others face-to-face. Evidence has
been captured when children hang out with each other, they are sitting next to
each other but no communication between them. They are too busy scrolling
social media and playing mobile games. Due to this situation, children are
lacking in social and communication skill as they are too obsessed with their
handset, they neglect their social skills (Muhammad, 2016).

 

              Even though there
are so many harmful effects of smartphones towards children, it undoubtedly
brings some advantages to them. A growing number of schools worldwide
implemented smartphone as a learning tool. This can lead to modern education as
a smartphone or tablet can give them an extra learning layer, beyond the
traditional classroom or book because they can access a lot of learning
resources such as mobile dictionaries, journal and even e-books. These
applications regularly update online by the author, unlike a real published
textbook that remains stagnant over time (Jones, 2015). As learning is not
necessarily in class but also with games, parent may introduce to their
children about some educational and interactive games such as Lego and Sudoku
as children learn quickly through games and sports activities. Moreover, games
train children on how to focus for a certain time which is essential in a classroom
session. A research by a professor at Nottingham University concluded that
online games can actually help children who experience attention disorders (Jones,
2015). As good as it is, we cannot deny the fact that it brings some negative
effects to them. There are a lot of data to be seen and heard on the web yet
not everything is appropriate for them because they are not matured enough (Muhammad,
2016). 

     

            In
conclusion, children below 13 should not be allowed to own smartphone because
they are unable to be responsible for what they have. Furthermore, smartphones
will cause many harmful effects to them such as health problem, cyberbully, and
they will become anti socialized due to lack of interpersonal skills. Therefore,
parents should play a role in this kind of situation.