Are cellphones more harmful than beneficial?

Andre Spruell, Opinion Co-Editor

It is not hard to recognize that cellphones have come a long way in the last decade. With all their advances, the real question is if they create more harm than good.

Although it is great to do something like surf the internet without having to go to a computer every time, there is no denying that cellphones have become a distraction.

It has gotten to the point that if you get caught using your phone while driving by law enforcement, it is a hefty fine as well as points off your driver’s license.

If a law has to be put in place in order to prevent using phones when doing something like driving, that in itself just goes to show how much of a distraction cellphones have become.

Also, it further enhances the idea of how cellphones are more distracting than beneficial.

Cellphones are something that everyone that as a teenager or older should definitely have because no matter the situation, it is the quickest way for people to get in contact with each other.

For that reason and for safety measures, cellphones are a must have.

At the same time, when it is not being used for the sole purpose of needing to get into contact with someone, all its other functions are pretty much distractions.

The list of “distractions” a phone has is insurmountable and range from things like games, social media, internet access and more.

What creates much of the distraction is the fact that as a society, we have become so accustomed to our cellphones that every time it buzzes or rings, we immediately direct our attention to our phones.

For example, if you have been snapchatting someone the whole day and hear that specific Snapchat alert, knowing that it is that same person, your eyes are still immediately drawn to the phone.

Because of that dyer need to check a cellphone, it has made something as simple as driving a car more complicated.

Personally, when I drive I put my phone on do not disturb mode so the urge to check my phone decreases dramatically because it will not go off. In a way, people should train themselves not to check their phone as often then phones would not be as big of a distraction. Easier said than done.

For the most part, everyone has been in a car where the person driving the car is texting as well. If you are the one in the passenger seat you would not be cool about it.

If that is true. what makes it better to do the same thing when no one else is in the car with you?

According to the Edgar Snyder & Associates law firm, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.

I do not condone drunk driving at all but based on that fact, someone’s life is at less of a risk by driving while intoxicated as opposed to texting while driving, which is crazy to even think about.

Playing with a phone helps cope with boredom and can be a major waste of time. For instance, checking every social media platform and playing games then you go to check the time and see that two hours have passed when you could have used those two hours to do something productive.

In other words, people tend to spend more leisure time than they probably should on their phones.

Although cellphones have many benefits, they have become more of a distraction than beneficial. In my opinion, the dangers created by the distractions of phones outweigh how helpful they are.

Would people be as distracted if land lines were still the only way for people to get into contact with each other?

Facts about texting and driving

  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.