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The Cell Phone Barrier 

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    Technology is advancing and new devices are being excessively released in short periods of time. A major piece of technology owned by most people is called a cell phone. As the years progress, cell phones become more and more reliable to complete different tasks, or to use for entertainment. When cell phones were first released in the late 1900s, the main purpose was only for communication purposes consisting of calling, and eventually texting and emails. As cell phones became more technologically advanced, the possession and use has become a major factor for society to function as it provides a big impact on our lives. The majority of people who own a cell phone use it everyday whether it is for simple or more complex tasks. This has made people become reliant on phones especially for teenagers. A lot of Youth grew up with the accessibility of cell phones and have become accustomed to having it in their everyday lives. Cell phones are becoming an interaction barrier between teens and older adults in Canada because of their exposure to different life experiences, societal trends, and health risks.

    Generation Z and generation X grew up with very different life experiences and childhoods because of newly advanced technology being released. 88% of teenagers ranging from thirteen to seventeen years old, have access to cellphones and media put online (Panetta, 2017). Older adults never had social media growing up, and have found other ways to entertain themselves when they were younger. This has allowed the older generation to feel accustomed to little to no technology, which also impacts their ability to use electronic devices now. Their ability to use electronics are affected because they had no prior knowledge to technology when they were younger, which can make it harder for them to adapt now. People who are of older age have trouble adapting to the new technology so much so, that programs such as “Seniors in Cyberspace” have been created. This program offers volunteer hours to highschool students while they teach seniors how to access the internet (Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships n.d.). This further outlines the differences between both generations and their relationship to technology, as the students are classified as the teachers and the adults as learners. Most teenagers also rely heavily on cell phones because they became accustomed at such an early age. Increased texting, calling, and social media have altered the way people communicate. Cell phones are wired or include the option to have automatic spell check which may affect literacy in the future, especially since brains of youth are still developing. This modifies the functioning of the brain and alters life experiences for generation Z and generation X. Researchers have reported that intellectuals with advanced thinking are less likely to be addicted or use cell phones (Brueck, 2018) To add on, Nicholas Carr, an author of technology and culture, conducted a case study describing how doctors today have become so reliable on technological software that they overlook small signals from patients (Romeo, 2014). This relates to cell phones allowing the brains of youth and young adults to react slower and become more inactive towards grammar, analytical skills, and work loads compared to older adults, differentiating their life experiences.

    Each age group obtains a vastly different perspective and reaction on societal trends because social media is catered more towards teens since they use cell phones the most. Businesses and companies tend to form their technological marketing strategies to fit teens the most because they are one of the demographics that have the most access to disposable income (Dworjan n.d.). Advertisements and media influencers put out products and trends to be geared towards youth. This creates a dissimilar opinion between adults and teens on those trends and products, as it does not appeal to the adults. Evidently, some brands promoting things such as fashion, footwear and music mainly have the target audience of teens as they are able to popularize it more. Commercials on radios, billboards, and newspapers are not as effective because of the shift towards cell phones and technology (Newman, 2016). Since teens tend to use cell phones more, the target audience of brands also tend to shift. This excludes adults and limits inclusive products designed for both age groups, creating a barrier of being able to interact over common likes or dislikes. This also creates a different perspective on societal trends further limiting teens and older adults interacting.

    Cell phones and social media has changed the brain functionality and addictiveness implementing more health risks among youth compared to adults. A study found that in 2012, 66 percent of people admitted to feeling panicked without their phones (How does smartphone addiction effect teen health, 2017). This is because most teens feel the need to be preoccupied with their cell phones. People should not normally feel anxiety without phones, but the over usage has caused most teenagers to feel this way and have their emotions influenced. It is also fueled by the chemical balances surged through their brains when teens use cell phones. Evidently, a chemical called dopamine allows people to feel happiness or satisfaction. A lot of teens will get a rush of dopamine with cell phone related activities. This would include receiving a new notification, or text message which adds to addiction. On the flip side, if teens do not get notifications or dopamine feeding rushes from their cell phones, depression and restlessness could possibly occur and increase the usage of cell phones (How does smartphone addiction effect teen health, 2017). This is a distinguishing factor between teenagers and older adults because adults can receive the surge of dopamine more easily even if both persons go through the same rewarding experiences. Other health risking factors include physical health risks of cubital tunnel syndrome or moderate soreness from wrists or fingers from holding cell phones too long and texting. Teenagers go through more harmful and lasting repercussions compared to adults changing their process of growth and development, adding an interactive barrier due to the differences.

    In conclusion, cell phones have made a big impact in Canada and the world. As technology progresses, cell phones have acted as an interaction barrier between teenagers and older adults because of their exposure to different life experiences, societal trends, and health risks. Cell phones have become a huge component in our society and have created both positive and negative influences throughout the population. Each age group obtains a different relationship with cell phones, and as technology increases, the same cycles of exposure and differences are likely to begin.

    References

    1. Brueck, H. (2018, March 10). This is what your smartphone is doing to your brain – and it isn’t good. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/what-your-smartphone-is-doing-to-your-brain-and-it-isnt-good-2018-3
    2. Dworjan, T. (n.d.). Teenage Shopping Habits. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://teens.lovetoknow.com/Teenage_Shopping_Habits
    3. How does smartphone addiction effect teen health? (2017, May 09). Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://www.teensafe.com/blog/smartphone-addiction-effect-teen-health/
    4. Lenhart A. (2015, August 6).Teens, technology and friendships[Scholarly project]. InAnalysis and Policy Observatory. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from http://apo.org.au/node/56457
    5. Lenhart A. (2005, July).Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation[Scholarly project]. InCiteULike. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from http://www.citeulike.org/group/22/article/833263
    6. Newman, D. (2016, March 09). Research Shows Millennials Don’t Respond To Ads. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2015/04/28/research-shows-millennials-dont-respond-to-ads/
    7. Panetta, B. (2017, December 28). Teens and Their Phones: What You Should Know. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-health-news-719/teens-and-their-phones-what-you-should-know-728942.html
    8. Pierce T. (2009, November).Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communication versus technological communication among teens[Scholarly project]. InScienceDirect. Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563209000971
    9. Romeo, N. (2014, September 30). Is Google Making Students Stupid? Retrieved January 16, 2019, from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/09/is-google-making-students-stupid/380944/
    10. Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2019, from http://www.tigp.org/cyberspace/program

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