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An Expository Essay
Advancement in technology has always been one of the most debated topics in every era. This might be attributed to the fact that humans are naturally apprehensive with the idea of change. Smartphones are not an exception to that apprehension. In fact, the debate for and against smartphones are only getting heated and have now included people from different sectors of the society. In this expository essay, we will try to present and explain the different arguments for and against smartphones.
Before we proceed to the arguments, let us first define what a smartphone is. According to Techopedia.com smartphone is a mobile phone with highly advanced features such as WiFi connectivity and the capacity to run installed or downloaded applications (Janssen).
Now that the smartphone has been properly defined, let us proceed to the first argument in favor of smartphones. According to the article, ‘Reasons Why Smartphones Can Improve Our Social Lives’ (2014), one of the best things about a smartphone is that it connects people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member or someone you’ve never met before, a smartphone allows you to communicate with these people. Also, smartphones operates on a ‘real-time’ basis so you don’t have to wait days or even months to receive a reply like the case with traditional letters. Also, you don’t have to be at home or somewhere specific to talk to people online, unlike the case with computers or laptops. As Joseph Ottorino (2014) puts it, “No matter how busy you are, you should be able to find a minute or two to connect using your smartphone, and that's all it takes.”
However, some people worry that smartphones can aggravate certain social problems that the world is already dealing with. These social problems include low attention span, technological dependency, inability to approach strangers, and shyness (Matteson, 2014). The problem with smartphones is that it is very easy to be used as an excuse to avoid socializing outside of the virtual realm (Ranger, 2013). There are many instances today wherein you would see friends or couples together at some place but they’re not talking to each other at all. Instead, they are focused on their phones. It seems like people get caught up in their online world that they slowly lose touch with the real world.
On the other hand, users and supporters of smartphones argue that smartphones are more than socialization tools. Smartphones can help when it comes to learning. This is because it is now easier for students to search words or concepts that they do not understand via online sites. Also, smartphones are equipped with a lot of applications that the student can use for their education. For example, there are several dictionary applications that are available only in smartphones. Terry Heick (2014) sums it up with these words – “This an argument less about smartphones, and more about meaningfully embracing what’s possible in 2015 and beyond–a stance that could see education finally take a position of leadership in the use of technology to support how we make sense of the world around us.”
Those who are against smartphones do not quite agree with the idea that smartphones should be used in schools. In fact, there are several schools all over the world that still follows the traditional rule of banning smartphones in classes. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of games and other applications in smartphones that usually grabs the attention of students away from their lessons (Garske).
Also, according to Ian Fenn, head of Burnage Media Arts College in Manchester, ever since he had banned students from using their smartphones in class, cyberbullying had been dramatically reduced and student behavior had improved as well (Barkham & Moss, 2012). This seems to imply that the usage of smartphones promote misbehavior and bullying.
The debate on whether or not smartphones are beneficial or detrimental to our society is something that can go on and on. Every day, the arguments from each side are only increasing both in volume and intensity. However, we need to remember the basics and that is that a smartphone is just a technological invention. As such, it is always up to us to use it in the way that will suit us. In the end, the question is not whether smartphones are beneficial or not. It is a question of how we use it.
Janssen, C. Smartphone. Retrieved from http://www.techopedia.com/definition/2977/smartphone
Matteson, S. (2014, Dec. 8). Are smartphones making us less social? Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/article/are-smartphones-are-making-us-less-social/
(2014, April 16). Reasons Why Smartphones Can Improve Our Social Lives. Retrieved from http://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Blog/Reasons-Why-Smartphones-Can-Improve-Our-Social-Lives/ba-p/13090655
Ottorino, J. (2014, August 27). How Your Smartphone Can Actually Improve Your Social Life. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/joseph-ottorino/smartphone-social-life_b_5537273.html?
Barkham, P., & Moss, S. (2012, Nov. 27). Should mobile phones be banned in schools? Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/27/should-mobiles-be-banned-schools
Heick, T. (2014, Jan. 27). 50 Reasons It’s Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/50-reasons-smartphones-belong-classroom/
Garske, L. Rogerian Argument: Maybe there is Middle Ground. Retrieved from http://logang-c0300.weebly.com/rogerian-argument.html
Ranger, S. (2013, Sept. 23). Are smartphones stealing away our lives? Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/article/are-smartphones-stealing-away-our-lives/
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