The digital age has made socializing easier for people. Using social media and messaging apps gave individuals the opportunity to reach even the farthest distances. However, it also separates members of the society from the real world, says research.
In today’s status quo, smartphone addiction affects teenagers the most considering the uprising of the digital age. The Pew Research Center tallied that 95 percent of teenagers own a smartphone or have access to such. On the other hand, 45 percent of the respondents say that they continuously stay online.
One of the aspects affected by the use of smartphones is face-to-face interaction. Dr. Nuhu Diraso Gapsiso and Dr. Joseph Wilson from the University of Maiduguri Department of Mass Communication investigated the matter for their study. 66 percent said that their face-to-face interaction with the people around them decreased because of the Internet. The Internet also caused them to spend less time with their peers.
In the same research, more teenagers are confident with interacting online than face-to-face. They prefer such because it brings them closer to their friends and it is more private than actual conversations. It means that the Internet might have opened its doors to a new way of communicating with others, but it also caused gaps between the closest people because they deem that they could instantly reach their loved ones by directly connecting to the Internet.
However, some teenagers also make an effort to reverse the effects of smartphone addiction. In Screen Education’s Teen Smartphone Addiction National Survey, which involved 13 to 18-year-olds, 65 percent says they would want to limit their smartphone use because it has adversely affected their patterns of socialization and also their daily living like their school performance and their hobbies.
Screen Education will also conduct a webinar on June 28. It aims to expound on the survey’s results and answer the audience’s queries regarding the effect of smartphones on teenagers.