Addiction at a Fingertip
Smoking and alcoholism may be the more obvious addictions that are known throughout our society. But is society overlooking another significant addiction simply because it is not a substance to be consumed by the human body? It seems as though there is an addiction with a growing number of users and these users hold their addiction in the palm of their own hand, almost continuously, in the form of a smart phone. A smart phone may be conceived as only a simple convenience to stay connected with friends and family, however recent studies are proving otherwise. It is an addiction that is almost always and easily available at one's fingertips. Students are lacking in their performance at school, social experiences are becoming less personal, and this addiction which is commonly thought of or referred to as “harmless ”, is suprisingly causing the rapid downfall of traditional social mannerisms in people and has even cost the lives of some.
During class a smoker may crave the taste of a cigarette; however, that craving rarely has an adverse effect on their grade. Contrary to the addiction of a cigarette, the addiction of a smart phone gives a person a different kind of high, the high of distraction. A Distraction that has immediate access to a constant stream of entertainment at almost all times. Smoking a cigarette in a classroom full of students and an instructor would be completely inappropriate and very noticeable, whereas a student discretely using a cellphone in a classroom full of students would most likely go unnoticed by the instructor and the majority of the other students. A study by Duncan Hoekstra and Wilcox demonstrated that "students who reported regular cellphone use in class showed an average negative grade difference of .36-.08 on a four point scale" (Fulbright). Not only are smart phone addicts posing a distraction to themselves but they are causing distractions to the students around them as well. An addiction to a smart phone becomes all consuming, taking the addict to a point where nothing else matters as long as the addict can send their next text or update their social media profile. The addict will attempt these things by any means necessary, even if it means hindering the academic performance of others or themselves. Classroom distractions have always been an ongoing battle for generations but when the distraction becomes an addiction then even the most enjoyable portions of a person's life will be affected.
Going out for lunch with friends may be an entirely new scene from what it was pre-smart phone days. A social experience may be less social when 97 % of people admit to using their phones in the presence of friends and family. The addiction people have to their phone is significantly...