Are Cell Phones Destroying a Generation? Essay Sample

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Wesleyan University
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The onset of cell phones has had a great impact in the modern society, and especially the millennials or the teens, and as such it has led to the destruction of a generation. It is apparent that what researchers call the iGen, people born between the year 1995 and the year 2012, depend greatly on their cell phones and their well-being majorly depends on their cell phones (Twenge 188). Researchers also prove that the iGen value their cell phones more that the real people because which proves that the cell phones dictate every aspect of their lives. The onset of the smartphones has defined the characteristics of the millennials which has led to a great change in the social aspects of the teens in the modern society. It is prudent that the onset of cell phones has changed behaviors, beliefs and characteristics of teens which has made them to be more individualistic and individualism has increased with the technological development in the society (Dafoe and Jason 401).

The effects that smartphones have on the current generation started from the year 2012, and this was apparent in the abrupt shifts in the behaviors and emotional states of teens which then led to a disruption of distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation (Chatterjee 79). Cell phones have made the Millennials to view the world differently as compared to their predecessors and how they spend their time, they also have totally different experiences compared to the experiences of the generations that preceded them. As such, smartphones are slowly destroying a generation where the same would have a great impact in future thereby further disrupting generational order of the Millennials. It is because the generation of teens is shaped by cell phones and the rise of social media in the modern society (Twenge 189). As such the smartphones that teenagers have make the seriously unhappy, a fact which they do not realize.

One way in which smartphones have destroyed a generation is apparent in the way it has created hopelessness among the Millennials, and the way they have turned teens into lonely and depressed screen addicts who have failed to conform to the line of established adulthood (Dafoe and Jason 403). The among the degree of lack of happiness among the Millennials is hinged on the discontinuity of generational trends that has been witnessed across the decades. In this way, the onset of cell phones changed every aspect of teenagers lives. The unhappy nature of the Millennials is evident in a study that was conducted by the Monitoring the Future survey which paints a clear picture about screen-generated crisis among the youth. Such a crisis closely relates to depression-fest as outlined in the graph below.

There is additional proof of the way cell phones have made Millennials more unhappy that their predecessors, and this is apparent from the fact that all screen activities and links to less happiness and all the non-screen activities are linked to more happiness (Chatterjee 82). Researchers also posit that the eighth-graders that spend 10 or more hours per week on social media tend to be 56 percent more likely to confirm that they are unhappy compared to those that spend less time on social media. The case is different when the effect of the twelfth-grade data is examined as there is realized similar levels of happiness disregarding the fact that they might be either on the higher or lower end of the use of cell phones and social media in general (Twenge 190). Research suggests that high school students that use their cell phones to access the social media a lot are more are less depressed that those access the social media a little through their phones and the graphs below reveal.

Having a closer look at the data to get the full range of usage of smartphones to access the social media, there is the revelation that cell phones pose the greatest risk of unhappiness among the twelfth-grade students that do not use the social media at all. The same is shown in the graphs below.

With the argument that more use of the social media leads to lack of depression is negated by the fact that such teens are exposed to other problems which are sexual intercourse at a tender age and declining to get driving licenses. Such proves that the use of cell phones either directly or indirectly controls the lives of the Millennials, and there is a need to change the situation and enlighten the youth on the effect that smartphones have on their lives (Dafoe and Jason 404). In addition to the effect that cell phones have on the youth, they also have an associated effect on the parents in that it has led to disengagement. Children are increasingly becoming disengaged because parents have become increasingly disengaged themselves from their children and have focused their attention too much on the screens. Cell phones have led to changes in parenting approach which then affects proper parenting skills thereby leading to the higher cases of indiscipline among the children in the modern society (Chatterjee 85).

Some of the effects of smartphones on parenting are the shortened parental interaction with their older children and declining interaction times. Such changes in parenting affect the children in various ways in that it affects the quality of engagement between parents and their children leading to less stimulation on the children (Twenge 192). The onset of cell phones created a state of competing activities on the parents where they have to handle their families and at the same time stay in touch with the social media. The competing attention due to the use of social media results in minimal parenting where the positive behaviors are expendable and curtailed when they reach the load limits. Despite parents being available to the children, the they respond slowly and give shorter interaction times. Moreover, attention from the children shift more when they are two (Dafoe and Jason 406). The minimal parenting leads to negative behaviors on the children hence less compliance to the rules and regulations on parenting.


It is factual that cell phones are destroying a generation and this is because of the impacts of the same both on the children and parents. To tackle the situation, parents should encourage and build a proper interpersonal relationship between them and their children and encourage better personal relationships. Parents should also let go of the one-size-fits-all approach of parenting and nurture their children in the best way possible to use their cell phones to improve their lives (Chatterjee 87). In this case, parents can advise their children on the benefits of cell phones in the society and encourage them to adopt proper use of the same to improve their lives and encourage proper living in the society.



Chatterjee, Subhrajit. "A Sociological Outlook of Mobile Phone Use in Society." (2014).

Dafoe, Allan, and Jason Lyall. "From cell phones to conflict? Reflections on the emerging ICTpolitical conflict research agenda." Journal of Peace Research 52.3 (2015): 401-413.

Twenge, Jean M. "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?." The Atlantic (2017).


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