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How Smartphones Affect Children?

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Zihe Xu

Dr. William Menz

ESL 1069-005

5 October 2017

How smartphones affect children?

     In “How the smart phone affected an entire generation of kids?” which was published in The Conversation on 21 Aug 2017, Jean Twenge shows that growing up with a smartphone has affected nearly every aspect of children’s lives. They spend too much time on the internet, texting friends and on social media. But, Miles Young holds a different idea in his article, “How smartphones can benefit children?” which appeared in The Living on 30 April 2015. He believes that learning more about how to use smartphones can help children with their learning and social skills. Between these two opinions, in the article, “How do smartphones affect childhood psychology?” published in The Psych Central on 28 Sep 2017, Amy Williams shows both advantages and disadvantages of the smartphone. She also pointed out that moderation is key. Based on these three articles, this essay will discuss both the bad effects of smartphones and the benefits a smartphone can bring to children, as well as how to use the smartphone moderation.

In Twenge’s article, she talks about the difference between generations, like the silent generation, the baby boomers and the Gen X. Then, she talks about the shifts in teen’s behavior and attitudes in the yearly surveys of 11 million young people that she analyzed from her research. She noticed that the teens started to spend their time much differently from the generations that preceded. Her research shows that the psychological change begins with new generations growing up. She also found out one thing in common from the teens and young adults. Children and adolescence are growing up with the smartphones. Next, the article starts to talk about the harm that smartphones bring to young users. There is research that shows the young teenagers nowadays read books, magazines and newspapers much less than their parents. Also, the SAT critical reading scores have dropped 14 points since 2005, which shows teenagers have more trouble reading long text passages and rarely read the required textbook. The article finally suggested parents should not worry about their children spending too much time with their friends because this is what teens needs. In my opinion, the smartphones do have some problems, but we cannot dismiss the benefits from it.

The second article holds a different opinion with the first article. Miles Young believes the smartphones can truly benefit children in different ways. Today, children begin learning with smartphones as early as 2 years old, and most of them get their first smartphone at about 11 years old. The writer thinks children can use family-friendly applications which can be a benefit for family relationships, and smartphones are also a great way to teach children social skills through social media, blogging and messaging. He believes these apps can teach children how to communicate with each other and know more about the outside world and social situations. I agree with his opinions partly. Learning to use smartphones correctly can help children to improve their learning and social skills. But I think it is not a good idea for children to waste too much time on smartphones.



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