Technology has brought a revolutionary change in our lives and in this world. Mobile phone and social media has connected people around the globe and became an essential part of our life. “Growing Up Tethered” by Sherry Turkle has discussed the effects of using a mobile phone on the behavior and cognitive abilities of this generation. She argued that the use of mobile phone, and responding to the comments, messages, and posts on social media has made us more sheltered. We are unable to experience our loneliness, in our free time we are constantly using our mind to engage with a mobile phone. The use of the mobile phone has affected creativity, learning, and analyzing things around us. Sherry Turkle has raised an important and contemporary issue of society. Using a mobile phone while walking or driving a car can lead to certain accidents. It also affected children to whom parents give their cellphones, so these tethered children don’t have the experience of being along with him or herself (Turkle, 173). Facebook is the hot favorite application used around the world. People make friends and socialize with strange people.
However, proper privacy is important, because it also holds positive and negative sides. The modern technology has brought rapid changes, and also led to certain undesired events. To avoid the undesired outcomes of cell phone use Growing Up Tethered is an amazing piece of writing, it can bring awareness to people who are greatly addicted to mobile phones. Turkle in her book Alone Together highlighted this contemporary issue that is helpful for both teenagers and adults to understand the pros and cons of mobile phones and their impacts on the young generation.
It has been observed that most mobile users are waiting for certain mobile notification, such as messages on Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook comments. While driving a car many times I noticed myself and my friends checking messages on the phone and playing our favorite messages, which is extremely dangerous and can get into accidents. It is a kind of risking our life to engage in these activities.
Growing Up Tethered really opened my eyes to avoid this habit, and understand what life is offering. When you focus on what you are doing and what is going on in your surroundings, that will make you able to learn things and will improve your presence of mind. People who use a cellphone for everything are less likely to learn and remember things, for instance, using Google Maps for direction makes a person dumb to remember routes by signs and surrounding buildings. Such people would be blank if their cellphone battery dies or during the unavailability of internet service. Turkle (172) argued that excessively using cellphones has changed the rules of engagement, the verbal communication diminished day by day. I personally agree with this argument as we look at our routine life where people spend most of their time using mobile phones browsing the internet, listening to music and do not communicate with a person sits next to them.
The author of this book has raised another important issue, that is phone addiction in children. Most children use mobile phones from their parents, watching cartoons, and playing games. For physical and mental growth physical exertion and communication with parents and peers are necessary. Mobile phone addiction has a negative impact on children because they avoid observing their surroundings, talking to their parents, and playing outdoor games.
This is an alarming situation because the mental and physical growth of children is affected due to excessive use of the mobile screen. Cellphones became their best friend and they are unable to observe the realities of their surrounding. The young generation doesn’t have time to know about their values and learn about their identity, it requires time to think and discover themselves. The mobile phone has made people available every time, teenagers making new friends and joining new groups are challenging their autonomy. The autonomy of adolescents is not the only separation from their parents and friends but also they need time for themselves, this fast source of connectivity leads to complications. Turkle also pointed out some strategies used by teenagers to avoid the interruption of their parents, for instance leaving phones at home or mute their phones to avoid calls from their parents. Teenagers want their autonomy however, it increases the anxiety and stress of their parents.
Teenagers are more skilled cellphone users and they are the initiators of this new era of online communication. They have brought development in mobile communication, they developed new abbreviations, a new language, and use of different emojis for certain feelings. The reason for using a mobile phone by teenagers are different from adults. They use the phone for communication with their friends, playing games, and uploading their new pictures and videos on their social media accounts, while adults use it for their work purpose and to engage with their families.
The arrival of new phones with the latest features and advanced technology has exerted psychological pressure in society. These phones are expensive and have exerted extra burden on teenagers and youth to purchase the latest model and compete with their friends in this race. Parents allow their children to use a mobile phone to be in touch with them because they are concerned about their children when they are going away home. So the cellphone also provides a sense of security. It can also help students in their studies and to learn more about the topics they covered in school.
Overall, the cellphone has brought dramatic changes in our lives. The advancement of technology always facilitate us and brought certain positive changes in our lifestyle. However, there are certain negative factors associated with every new invention. Excessive use of everything is bad, it also relates to mobile phone use. Cell phone addiction is equally dangerous for kids, teenagers, and adults, moderate use can supersede the curse of using mobile phones.
Turkle, S. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited, 2011, https://books.google.com.pk/books?id=hc7SYAPVlXwC.