Wrongful stigma

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Smartphone usage in today’s day and age is, just like rock and roll in the 1950s, wrongfully being hailed as the cause of many of our generation’s problems.

In a recent survey carried out by Canadian cellphone company Wind Mobile, some smartphone users claimed that they would forgo coffee, alcohol and even their own pets for their phone, raising concerns about the addictive nature of smartphones.

This discussion about the negative side effects of smartphones has made them out to seem far worse for our society than they truly are.

It’s true that smartphones can be addictive to some. The dread of missing out on a crucial text or phone call can cause some to miss out on important social events by leaving to charge their phone or by being distracted with texting.

It’s also true that phones can be distracting to the point where users eschew face-to-face social interaction. Texting during coffee dates and family dinners has become common practice, leading many to question social etiquette in our society. The need to remain connected at all times trumps all.

But it’s wrong to pin smartphones as being harmful to their users.

Smartphones have undeniably become a part of our day to day — we use them in the workplace, to communicate with our friends and family and for our own personal entertainment.

Most importantly, smartphones open up avenues of communication that were previously unavailable. With Internet connection, individuals can access their email, social media and a plethora of information whenever they want.

But, it’s still important to note that there was a time before smartphones where humanity still functioned. A certain degree of self-discipline and perspective can help users fight the negative aspects of smartphone use, such as social distraction.

Ultimately, whether or not smartphone users consistently become addicted to them is questionable. Instead of viewing them as harmful to society, we should see them as simply bringing a change to our social dynamic.

— Journal Editorial Board

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