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Behind the Screen

Younger generations are starting to develop an addiction to their phones.

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Behind the Screen

Close up of woman's hands with smartphone and unknown incoming phone call on it. (KSTU-TV/iStockphoto/TNS)

Close up of woman's hands with smartphone and unknown incoming phone call on it. (KSTU-TV/iStockphoto/TNS)

TNS

Close up of woman's hands with smartphone and unknown incoming phone call on it. (KSTU-TV/iStockphoto/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Close up of woman's hands with smartphone and unknown incoming phone call on it. (KSTU-TV/iStockphoto/TNS)

Stephanie Vince, Reporter

Nowadays, technology is a necessity in our society ranging from school related to entertainment purposes. We put a heavy reliance on phones and other forms of technology, but, aside from the positives, are we starting to develop an addictive need for phones? Around 45 percent of U.S. children aged 10 to 12 have a smartphone with a service plan, according to CNN. Kids are starting to grow up with phones in their life at a young age allowing them to be dependent on their technology. Instead of handwritten invitations and thank you letters in the mail, it has turned into e-vites and group chats. These small changes are causing kids to lack certain skills that earlier generations were exposed to.

It is an increasing trend to see teenagers at a concert, with friends, or at an event on their phones. As technology advances, the number of social media users is directly increasing with time, according to Statista. The common uses of the phone are for social media platforms and games. It is more common now than ever to see kids prefer watching Netflix or playing video games rather than being active or taking part in a social activity. The younger audience has taken a toll on social skills by being reliant to communicate through their phones.

Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram make it easy and fun to communicate with friends, but have taken away from the face to face interactions one would typically uphold. Whether it be to check Instagram likes, Snapchat a person back or imessage a friend, kids are forming a poisonous relationship with their phones. Teenagers’ phone attachment is heightening with up to 72 percent of teens saying that they often or sometimes check their messages or notifications as soon as they wake up and approximately four-in-ten say they feel anxious whenever their cellphone is not with them, according to Pew Research Center. This constant need to be on a screen is taking a toll on younger generations by introducing new bad habits such as a loss of communication skills.

Teenagers are increasingly becoming different people with the use of screens by the ease of not speaking directly to the individual. Through this non-direct nature of communication, teens are able to present false identities and act online through entirely different personas. In addition to this possibility, this social media culture causes a mass increase in conformity as teenagers are encouraged to model their lives based on those worshipped and praised online. If the future generation is raised to text and Snapchat rather than have a direct dialogue we threaten the world’s culture and individualism. The major issue is that people do not know where to draw the line and find a happy medium. Without this differentiation, younger generations communication skills and comprehension of basic social interactions are significantly at risk.

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