Name: Kimberlee Yow
USI Code: 1031051
Course: English 1105
Tutorial Lecturer: Mrs. Wendy Springer
Essay Topic: The Harmful Effects of the use of Electronic Gadgets on Adolescents
In today’s technologically advanced world, electronic devices play a major role in the lives of people, especially the younger generation. According to a Global Social Media research summary carried out by Dave Chaffey, the number of mobile phone users in the first quarter of 2018 amounted to 5.135 billion and is expected to increase by 4% at the end of the year (Chaffey, 2018). In addition, it was further substantiated by a popular webpage “American Academy of Pediatrics” that the availability and ownership of electronic devices has risen dramatically in recent decades, the increase being particularly amongst adolescents (AlBahri, Arora, Omar, ; Taheri, 2018). Adolescents spend most of their time either on television, in front of a computer or a smart phone and video game playing. There is no doubt that currently technology is very useful, however it can have harmful effects on users. Time spent on modern day electronic gadgets by adolescents can lead to health problems such as computer vision syndrome, hearing damage and disrupted sleeping problems.
As electronic gadgets such as laptops, tablets and other growing technologies become part of our everyday lives, we become reliable on them either to do our work or for entertainment purposes. Children and teenagers spend an average of four hours a day just on television, not withdrawing computer time, time spent on the internet or smart phone and video game playing (Roberts, 2017). Electronic gadgets such as personal computers comes with its advantages such as the storage and fast retrieval of vast data and can get accurate work done at faster speed compared to manually work (Learning, 2018), however our eyes are exposed to the blue spectrum light from these digital devices which can affect both our eye and general health (atlanta, n.d). As a result of the blue light that is emitted by these electronic gadgets loved by teenagers, the overuse of them can damage eyes over time and lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS) (life, 2016). Adolescents are not completely aware of the consequences these devices can have on their health so they therefore continue to use it abundantly. Although CVS can be a major health problem caused by the overuse of electronic gadgets, the ear can also suffer from its continuous use.
Most electronic gadget packages today includes headphones. Many teenagers tend to utilize headphones for long hours at loud volumes which may result in impairment to their hearing organ. A 2017 study by National Acoustic Laboratories found one in 10 Australians regularly crank up their headphones to more than 85 decibels, the equivalent to standing next to a running lawn mower (Scott ; Armitage, 2018). As a result of listening to sounds at high volumes and long hours whilst using headphones teenagers can develop hearing problems such as tinnitus, difficulty understanding speech and decreased ability to hear as was shown on the International Tinnitus Journal from a study that was conducted on adolescents as it relates to their hearing health when using amplified music with headphones (Herrera, et al., 2016). As it was shown on both studies conducted, the use of high volumes when using headphones is predominant also one pointed out the long hours spent using them. Our youths therefore need to be educated on the health effects that can result from doing such, not specifically education on hearing problems but also other health problems caused by electronic gadgets such as disrupted sleeping problems.
Teenagers who spend a lot of time on their smartphones, computers or any other electronic gadget tends to suffer from disrupted sleeping problems. Based on a research conducted ”sleep and the use of electronic devices in adolescence” it was found that indeed there is a negative relation between use of technology and sleep (Hysing, et al., 2018). One important recommendation that came out of the study suggests that healthy media use could include the restriction on electronic devices. In another study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was shown by the American National Sleep Foundation’s 2006 sleep in America pole that almost all adolescents had at least one electronic device in their bedroom and spends a certain amount of time on them, also the light produced by electronic gadgets disrupts circadian rhythms by suppressing melatonin (hormone responsible for sleep) resulting in the inability to fall asleep at a reasonable time (AlBahri, Arora, Omar, & Taheri, 2018). It can be deduced that the younger generation cannot do without the use of an electronic device be it either a cellphone, computer or video games in this modern world and this can result in sleepless nights as shown by the studies conducted.
Based on the evidence obtained, there are indeed billions of users of electronic gadgets primarily adolescents who utilizes same at extended hours, as a result users can develop severe health problems such computer vision syndrome (cvs), hearing problems and disrupted sleeping problems. This can be significantly reduced by adopting healthy media use by the restriction of the extensive use of electronic devices. Adolescents should be educated on the harmful effects of modern day electronic gadgets as it can be detrimental to their health. With the rapidly expanding world and growing technological advancements, such devices are paramount for our everyday life, mainly for communication. However I can say that nothing is more important than the wellbeing of our youths, don’t you think so too?
AlBahri, A. F., Arora, T., Omar, O. M., & Taheri, S. (2018). American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/141/1_MeetingAbstract/230
atlanta, f. e. (n.d). family eye care center of Atlanta. Retrieved from https://www.familyeyecareatlanta.com/eye-care-services/protecting-your-eyes-from-cell-phones-and-computers/
Chaffey, D. (2018). Smart Insights. Retrieved from https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/amp/
Herrera, S., Lacerda, A. B., Lurdes, D., Rocha, F., Alcaras, P. A., & Ribeiro, L. H. (2016). Amplified music with headphones and its implication on hearing health in teens. The International Tinnitus Journal, 42-47.
Hysing, M., Pallensen, S., Stormark, K. M., Jakobsen, R., Lundervold, A. J., & Sivertsen, B. (2018). BMJ. Retrieved from https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/1/e006748
Learning, E. P. (2018). Easy Pace Learning. Retrieved from https://www.easypacelearning.com/computers/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-computers/1367-advantages-disadvantages-of-computers
life, G. v. (2016). Optometry Australia. Retrieved from http://goodvisionforlife.com.au/your-vision/teen-vision/
Scott, S., & Armitage, R. (2018). ABC. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-06/headphones-could-be-causing-permanent-hearing-damage/9826294