Name: Cameron Farmer
From: Elizabeth, CO
Grade: Freshman
School: CRAS
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign - Plugged Out

Plugged Out

Farmer
1

Addiction

Even
before I was born, the world was already an addictive place. With
influences including dozens of drugs, sex, gambling, and other
dangerous activities, it was already going to be very challenging to
try and persevere through life. When the then innovative smart phone
was introduced, little did we know how it would shape our daily life,
including addiction. Society was forever changed into a tumbling
digital spiral, knocking down all means of actual “social
interaction” and dwindling any chance of revival among its
expanding base of eager users. Smartphone are an addiction, and, I
suspect a leading cause of total social desertion.

I
can say with upmost honestly that the choice of my parents to not
provide me with a smart phone until my senior year of high school was
(despite my chagrin at the time) a strong and clever decision. Even
as fast as high school went by, I still learned a lot about social
interaction and the importance of physical and human contact. I also
learned a lot about the uprising factor of smartphones being in our
lives and the risk it could play on our future of learning and being
secluded from reality.

Naturally,
staring down at the rectangular device continuously comes with many
consequences. Dating apps, social networking and other forms of
messaging may isolate individuals from the realism of their actual
relationships. We have all seen the couple at a restaurant engaging
with their smartphones instead of each other. The Internet can be a
great place to meet new people and even reconnect with old friends.
However, those friendships exist purely in a bubble, without the
attributes that comes with real-world relationships. Online
relationships are not a healthy substitute for real life interaction.
Also, compulsive use of dating apps can also lead to a focus on short
term hook ups rather than a long term, functional relationship.

It
is impressive how much space can fit on such a small object. Each
year the smartphone can hold more and more space and information,
which can be amazing and scary at the same time. It means more space
for more games, more social media applications, more video streaming
services. With so much in one place it can become a source of
information overload to the brain that can consume hours or even days
of unproductive time. That neglect can adversely impact real world
responsibilities like jobs, school, and other financial obligations.


The
probability of your personal information being stolen has been more
prominent than ever in recent years with an increasing lack of
digital privacy. Every online interaction and website requires an
email, and without the complications of creating 12 different emails,
you naturally use the same one. The same email that is linked to eBay
can also be linked to your banking information. As I’m sure
everyone has witnessed, there are company ads all over the internet.
One must be careful when online shopping or reading articles because
some of those ads about your most desired pair of headphones might
not be what it seems to be. The number of hackers has increased at an
alarming rate in modern years and those “ads” might have a link
straight into your personal life; stealing passwords, social security
numbers, bank account information, and any other private data you
would want to keep secret.

However,
there are protective measures you can take to limit your screen time
and overall addiction to your smartphone. Most smartphones now have
features for monitoring screen time to give you a weekly report on
how much you are using your phone and what application you use the
most. If you use your smartphone excessively for tasks with no useful
benefit, set a timer to take breaks and move on to more productive
things like reading a book or going outside for some sunshine and
exercise. Understand the difference between interacting in-person and
online; humans are social organisms; we aren’t supposed to be
isolated. Socially interacting with another person face-to-face,
making eye contact, responding to their body language can help calm
and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you may be feeling.
Texting, emailing or tweeting bypasses all the nonverbal cues that
our body needs. Online friends can not be there to celebrate an
occasion, hug you when you are feeling down, or shake your hand.

Trying
to take smartphone out of your life all together might be impossible
to manage in today’s day and age, however there is a most prominent
risk of being lost as a society if we do not change our online
habits.


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