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First Year Writing 2
Feb 9 2022
How young is too young for an IPhone? Cell Phones tend to be a strong talking point as of late. Especially as they become more and more common as time goes on. It’s often a wild world of information regarding their impact on the youth. Lot’s of studies have found different correlations with cellphone use, and how they can affect a child’s brain. Often these correlations come out as negative and some positive. Based on research there is an overwhelming trend toward’s the fact that cell phones can lead to some serious problems with children. The two point’s that have often become common when narrowing it down is how the electrical waves from a cell phone affect a young brain, and secondly fear of addiction to cell phones. As many know, addictions can cause many problems. Parents often find themselves in a day to day struggle of what age is safe for their child to have such a grave responsibility.
A growing theme regarding cell phone use has of late been surrounded by the physical effects it can have on young minds. Regarding the physical impact to a child’s brain, the publisher IEEE (2019) describes the various effects that cell phone use can have on children and teens alike. The specific effect they refer to in the article is the effect of RF microwaves that are omitted from cell phones. In the article IEEE (2019) describes four separate small to large scale tests that were conducted. Two in 2007, one in 2015, and one in 2018. The small scale studies conducted in 2007 resulted in no evidence being found as there was no difference to RF microwave exposure in the children that were a part of the test. In the 2015 test there was a slight deterioration in figural brain memory, but not verbally when exposed to RF microwaves from cell phones. Based on the large scale studies that were conducted in 2018 it was concluded that cognitive ability had a slight decrease in the young participants during a multitude of different memory tests. It was viewed over a much longer scale than the previous tests. Overall it was still described as not being enough evidence to support cognitive damage, but there are still ongoing studies. With those ongoing studies many previous studies regarding television have been brought into the picture. Regardless when exposed over a longer period of time it is seen slight cognitive deterioration can be observed.
Piggybacking on the physical effects cellphone use at a young age can cause the Daily Times (2017) published an article describing a specific brain function that is severely affected by constant cell phone use in children. Several tests were conducted by a university in Seoul Korea to better understand what happens to the brain when exposed to a high abundance of screen time. Upon the execution of their research their goal was to discover the different chemical balances in the brain that are impacted as a result of constant cell phone use by children. Throughout their test a resounding result was found as the import brain chemicals known as GABA and Glx were ultimately affected by the constant use of cellphones by the individuals tested. These two important brain chemicals are used in establishing certain moods, or feelings. From these chemicals being altered an increase in depression and anxiety can be a result. Furthermore the test consisted of a control group. The control group that was tested did possess the same addictive behaviors to their cell phones as the other group had. It was determined that the control group had better results than the group that was addicted to their cell phones. This test resulted in lots of research into understanding the impact of cell phone use for youth. Still the brain chemicals imbalance could potentially happen in any sort of addiction problem. Still with that being said it’s still a cause for concern based on how easy it seems to get addicted to cell phone use.
Continuing on the subject of screen time there is a lot of research to suggest increased screen time at young ages causes deficiencies in learning. In an article written by Marian Freedman (2018) describes another test on children. This time specifically ranging from 24, 36, and 60 months of age. The test was conducted in Canada to determine the effect that more time in front of a screen can have on a childs’ development. The average screen time based on an age per day was 2.4, 3.6 and 1.6 hours. Based on the test it was determined that children who spent an excessive amount of time sitting in front of a screen of some sort, suffered from poorer performance on developmental screening tests. Based on the study as age increased the worse developmental performance was observed. Furthermore the article ends with some key thoughts from a Dr. Burke who describes the impact of subjecting infants to increased TV time as a way to not essentially baby sit them. This action replaces key verbal interactions and book reading, says Dr. Burke. With that it culminates into something very unhealthy for a child.
Despite many experiments and studies showing the negatives of cellphone use there are still some positives though limited. In an article written by Guinta, M. R., & John, R. M. (2018) they explain the positive adolescent health with cell phone use. Some positives they address, in the article, consist of having a strong online network with friends, family, and other individuals experiencing similar issues. Another positive is the promotion of health that is broadcasted across the internet. The interante can have healthy ways of living and resources available to help certain mental illnesses. Lastly, self esteem can be brought up as the simple result of having a good profile picture. Overall this is about as far as most of the positives go as far as cellphone use with children.
As seen through research and studies there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to conclude the dangers of cellphone use at young ages. Though some positives can be seen that evidence remains minimal compared to the dangers. Many people know that cell phone addictions are common, but delving into what those addictions can cause is quite disturbing. Though there is much room left for research. It is completely plausible for someone under the age of even eight to be handed the responsibility of an IPhone; it just requires the coherence of the parents to ensure time is regulated on it.
J. C. Lin, “Memory Function and Cell Phone Microwave Exposure in Youngsters [Health Matters],” in IEEE Microwave Magazine, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 16-20, Feb. 2019, doi: 10.1109/MMM.2018.2880498.
Guinta, M. R., & John, R. M. (2018). Social Media and Adolescent Health. Pediatric Nursing, 44(4), 196+.
Smartphone addiction harms teens’ mental health: study. (2017, December 3). Daily Times [Lahore, Pakistan].