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Dangers of Cell Phones

Posting a TikTok, sending a snap, putting a photo of yourself on Instagram — all these seemingly innocent things can be done on a cell phone; however, these actions can result in consequences you’ve never imagined, such as cyberbullying and procrastination. This leaves parents begging the question: What is the perfect age for a cell phone?

Cell phones can be found almost everywhere. And yes, they have an absurd amount of perks and conveniences that people couldn’t fathom two decades ago. My parents always bring up how easy we have it because of phones, and really, they’re not wrong. Phones allow us to find the location of our parents, siblings, friends and other people in our lives. They give us the opportunity to reach distant family members or friends. Clearly, they are useful.

Even though cell phones are here to benefit us, people tend to abuse them easily. Most adults have jobs. Most kids go to school. From my personal experience, both these things involve work, sometimes stressful amounts of it. Phones can give us a break from that pressure, but they don’t solve the issue. Procrastination, or when someone puts back their work for later and does other activities, mainly wasting time on their phone, and addiction to social media is a huge problem.

This is a dilemma that I experience currently as well. There isn’t a true way to solve this problem. The solution can depend on a lot of things, including how you were raised. I know some kids whose parents are extremely strict and won’t let their kid get a phone until college, and some kids whose parents don’t care at all. Knowing this, I want to help young adults and other people stay aware of the dangers of social media and how to spend their time instead of constantly being on their phone. If you are one of the kids that have more relaxed parents, you might be on your phone a lot. And those who aren’t, well, you can “flip the page.”

This next situation might sound familiar for regular procrastinators: you just got back from school, put your backpack down and jump on your bed. You then pull your phone out and start scrolling through TikTok, and you tell yourself, “Five minutes.” Five minutes pass, and you promise yourself you’ll get off in 15 minutes. An hour later, and it’s 5:00. You have a 2-hour-long soccer practice, and when you get home it takes you 45 minutes to change and eat dinner. By now, it is 7:45, and you have to study for two quizzes and a huge test. This is the problem with cell phones. You feel like it relieves stress, which it does, but then it adds more problems. It’s like a candy you love to have, but after you eat it, you feel gross. It’s an addiction.

Procrastination isn’t the only downside of phones. Cyberbullying is a terrible reality of being present on social media. An article from National Institutes of Health written by Sharon Reynold mentioned a study led by Dr. Ran Barzilay of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He and his team found that 9% of 10,000 young kids averaging the age of 12 were being cyberbullied. Other than cyberbullying, participants of this study reported factors such as racist encounters and family conflicts, saying they also encouraged suicidal thoughts, and even suicide attempts. All these children had phones and the common social media apps, including TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat and more.

Now, more than ever, people are on their phones. I am not saying you can never use them unless it’s an emergency, although there is a fine line between unwinding and procrastinating. Spend time doing calming activities such as going on a walk, exercising, and having casual conversations with your family. If you want to get rid of your phone while doing these things, hide it in some place where it takes effort to get it back, or shut it off completely when you do these things. There are many creative ways to solve this issue, and these are just some suggestions.

Lastly, I wanted to remind you that social media is not a kind place, and the consequences of being on it drastically outweigh the benefits. Knowing this, I encourage you to stay away from these addictive and harmful distractions on your phone.

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