Smartphones

Should we be concerned about smartphones?

We should be concerned about smartphones
We do not need to be concerned about smartphones
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Started by
Molly Banta
SEE BOTH SIDES

The Issue

Smartphones as a product are only about 10 years old, and their usage around the world has been increasing rapidly, with users currently spending almost four hours on their mobile devices daily. While the practical benefits seem obvious, people are starting to wonder if there may be possible physical, mental and environmental consequences.

Most Divisive Question

3 stories vs 2 stories

Remaining Questions

8 questions total

Final Thoughts

What people think
Anti: Smartphones
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    Lea Thali

    I think we should be concerned about smartphones and consider the possible negative consequences of using them. While the risk of cancer does not seem to be a concern, smartphones may negatively affect your vision, sleep, parenting, focus, and more. Furthermore, their production is harmful to the environment and factory workers.

    However, I don't think we need to do away with smartphones all together. . There are some positive things coming from the technology, such as apps for physical and mental health. But, we need to reevaluate how we use them in our day-to-day lives, and we need to improve how they are produced.

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Depends
  • 12ddb88ae748838c946ec4a1118f0864
    Jordan Grossman
    Founder of Niaterra News

    Let me just come right out and say it: nobody reading this will stop using their smartphones, no matter what they read! I'm probably one of those people.

    That being said, there are probably some basic steps some people can take to curb some negative effects of smartphones:

    There are some studies that suggest cell phones may cause cancer. There is reason to believe them (evidence trumps everything in science!), but there are reasons not to believe them (it's easy to see causes that don't exist with this type of research). Use hands-free and headphones (not bluetooth ones), and your risks of brain tumors will still be on the order of 1 in 100 (but doubling it still just 2 in 100).

    If you have sleep issues, maybe use your phone less for bed. If you have concentration problems, maybe lay off the phone and interact with real things more. And pay attention to your kids when you're supposed to.

    That's the most we can ask of anyone, but maybe that's all we need to ask...

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    Satchie Snellings

    I believe that smartphones are absolutely here to stay. They have brought enhanced efficiency and communication to the modern world, and I personally am glad to have one. I have chosen to vote depends, however, because I believe that there are still some things about which we should be concerned.

    After viewing this Nia, a few issues caught my attention. The abuses which smartphone factory workers face must be addressed. Apple, Samsung and other smartphone suppliers have pledged to try and eliminate such injustices, but as of yet the problems remain. It is my opinion that we should make it a priority that smartphones are produced through fair labor.

    I was also struck by the damage done to the eyes of smartphone users, as a result of over exposure to blue LED light. I hope that this Nia encourages people to limit their smartphone use so as to protect their eyes.

    Though there are some risks and problems which must be confronted, I believe that the smartphone can do a great deal of good. An example of this can be found above in the creation of mobile apps which help users self-manage their illnesses. This is only one example of how much good a smartphone can do. As this Nia shows us, though, it is important that we do not forget the possible damage they can do as well, and hopefully work to correct such issues.

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    Molly Banta
    Nia Creator

    At an astounding 4-hours a day, we should be concerned about smartphones. There is obviously a time and place for smartphones. Understanding the boundaries for smartphone use is important - particularly before bed, as a parent, or as a source of stress or constant work. There is something to be said about being "off the grid" outside of work hours or at certain points throughout the day.
    That being said, as with all technology, if new innovations are used correctly they can definitely be beneficial! It is incredible to see so many apps aimed at combatting mental health. Other conveniences raise our standards of living and allow us to concentrate our lives on other things.

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    Aya Abitbul

    Smart phones allow for fast-paced communication and efficiency, which is truly a necessity in today's information age. Smartphones represent innovation and productivity, and embracing new technology is crucial for the advance of society, not completely rejecting it because we are afraid of small potential risks.
    However, we must also be aware of these risks. As the nia indicates, there is much research indicating that blue LED can damage our eyes, or that they are impacting our sleep cycles. I think the key to living with smartphones is to find the balance: continue to keep them in our lives, but work to improve their safety and diminish their risks.

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Pro: Smartphones
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    Lauren Lankford

    I'm not concerned about my smartphone usage at all. At this point, it is much to vital of an asset in my life for me to have room for concern.

    I've learned to disengage from electronics at least an hour before heading to bed, so I'm not concerned about my smartphone usage disrupting my sleep cycle. However, I was unaware of how damaging LED light could be on not just sleep cycles, but eyesight as well. As someone with impaired vision, I'm surprised I haven't been aware of this in the past.

    I was also completely unaware of the controversy behind cell phone manufacturing and the mistreatment factory workers faced. While it was affirming to know big suppliers have addressed these issues, it's still an issue that needs to be addressed on a global scale. I'm somewhat disappointed in myself for being so naive on the subject before reading through this Nia.

    As long as you don't let your smartphone rule your lifestyle, you're golden, in my opinion at least. But as vital as my cell phone is to my routine, I am still wondering if I should switch my thoughts over to depends side. I do think there is still much to be addressed, after all.

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    Anoushka Parthasarathi

    As a society, I think we've come to rely on technology much more than we used to, and of course a huge chunk of that is attributed to smartphones. However, while I do see that some people are letting their smartphones rule their lives, I don't think that can be applied to society as a whole. I do see a good amount of people able to disconnect from their phones for at least some portion of the day, whether it's an hour or whether it's 10 hours. There's also more of a general drive for this to happen and I've recently been seeing articles on how we can all disconnect and I see people applying these strategies.

    Smartphones can also help us in a lot of ways, whether that's finding a good restaurant to eat at, finding directions to a place, or monitoring how we sleep via sleep apps.

    Just as long as we're able to disconnect at least an hour or so a day from our phones, I don't see a problem.

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