A smartphone is a mobile device that can be used as a computer as they work efficiently and are small enough to fit in the hand of the user. Smartphones are used to receive and send emails, send multimedia messages, take photographs, and text individuals. Most individuals, especially teenagers, use smartphones mainly to send and receive messages as phone calls among them are not very common, thus mostly preferring to send messages. Research shows that most people spend about three to four hours a day on their phones daily (Sirola, et al., 2021). Smartphones are, however, important as they allow people to efficiently conduct research f and lookup for any information they may need, which most of the time saves money and time.
Smartphones help teenagers remain socially active through the provision of social media and many apps, for example, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. Smartphones have helped improve the lives of individuals as human connectivity remains closer and more affordable. Smartphones have helped build close relationships for there to be happiness, mostly even where there are long-distance relationships people cannot forge an online relationship through the use of smartphones. Smartphones among the Spanish young people aged between 14 and 18 years have had a significant impact (Cuadrado-Gordillo, & Fernández-Antelo, 2019). Studies show that most of these teenagers spend most of their time having their cell phones, making them more prone to depression, anxiety, and stress.
As studies have shown among young Spanish teenagers, the excessive use of smartphones has resulted in the having of an increased risk of problems related to mental health. Loneliness among these teenagers has been linked to increased depression. Most of these young people have issues with their sleep, thus ending up with anxiety problems causing increased suicide risk. The smartphone’s invention was with positive thinking whereby its main aim was to connect people in the world together despite their location (Sirola, et al., 2021). The creation of social media apps was to help individuals to have a close and better connection with their loved ones more often. The Spanish teenagers have not been able to evade the harmful effects that have been linked to the use of smartphones.
Most of the teenagers are still students. Thus, they are likely to develop a poor vision because of smartphones’ constant usage, making it affect their vision. Their academic performance is also affected, with most of them not being able to learn and focus; thus, they cannot remember most things, leading to their loss of intelligence, which results in irresponsibility. For example, they are never ready to charge of their failure and make efforts to work their way through their success (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). The introduction of mobile phones in their educational institution also worsens the situation whereby students go ahead to use smartphones inside their classrooms, not for learning purposes but promoting their irresponsible behaviours.
1.1 Purpose of the essay and considerations
The primary focus of the essay is to provide different research strategies to offer a better understanding of the research question of the extent to which smartphones impact the identity of the Spanish young people virtually aged 14-18 years. The purpose of the essay is to explain in detail the impact of smartphones, whether positive or negative and the unlimited possibilities they can open if positively used by teenagers in Spain and worldwide. The essay will give an in-depth explanation of the hype that has been there about smartphones and what makes up the high usage of smartphones among teenagers in Spain (Sirola, et al., 2021). For the purpose of the research, there will be the consideration of the various aspects that need to be considered, for example, the comparison cost that are incurred in treating mental illnesses caused by the constant usage of smartphones by the Spanish teenagers, especially those aged between 14-18 years.
There are short-term and long-term advantages that will be considered to help improve the use of smartphone technology among young teenagers to remain sane and avoid the wastage of resources, especially in the treatment of mental illnesses. In the end, there will be the need to explain the positive impact of smartphones if they are widely used among teenagers. Considering smartphones were developed to improve communication and research by making them more efficient through saving time. Because they are easy to carry, students can carry out their research in the fastest way possible. Some of the topics that will be broadly evaluated are how the usage of smartphones has increased immoral activities, caused health issues, and poor vision (Cabezas-González, et al., 2021). Also, the essay will explain more about the mobile phones’ effects on teenagers and the contribution of applications’ problematic usage.
1.2 Research question
What is the impact of smartphones on the social group of Spanish young people aged 14-18?
The research methodology applicable to the essay will be broad as preliminary research is undertaken. To facilitate data collection, there will be observations and experimentation of data. Observational data will be captured through the observation of behaviour and activities of teenagers between 14-18 years in Spain. To collect the observational data, there will be open-ended surveys and sensors to help with recording information in real-time. The experimental data will be collected through an active intervention to help with the production and change measurement to create a difference if, in any case, any variables are altered (Odgers, 2018). The experimental data will help me build a relationship with the teenagers for me to get a better understanding of their smartphone usage. The methodology will answer the question of how teenagers think the usage of smartphones has changed how young teenagers conduct their activities in their given space through the use of smartphones. I will record what I have observed and encountered when collecting data among the Spanish teenagers aged between 14-18 years in detail to help give a solution that will be impactful.
2. The Context
2.1 The usage behaviour of social technologies among the Spanish teenagers
The majority of Spanish teenagers use the internet and mobile technology, with research showing that older teenagers, especially girls, spend most of their time on the social sites available on their smartphones. Teenage girls find social networking sites as places where they can reinforce their friendships that are already pre-existing. At the same time, for the guys, the network provides an opportunity for them to conduct their flirting activities and make new friends (Cihak, 2018). It can be noted that future business relations will be influenced by the new business relationships adopted through new methods of relationships that the teenagers in their social platforms are forming. Notably, technology expansion through smartphones creates undesirable behaviour among teenagers, and it is primarily uncontrollable.
The new technologies through the use of smartphones have established various new networks through the technological, social networks, and exposure that previously did not occur as it is massive today (Cabezas-González, et al., 2021). A short time ago, the use of smartphones caused the development of specific characteristics, for example, withdrawal and isolation, which have been considered disorders that could mostly end up causing teenagers to get involved in taking toxic substances and undesirable behaviours being exhibited. Today among many teenagers, there is extreme observable accessibility of behavioural phenomena’s deformations that can be derived in different tendencies (Cuadrado-Gordillo, & Fernández-Antelo, 2019). Given that they allow most teenagers to come up with groups that are consistent with a homogeneous content that primarily consists of varying dependence types that are not mainly aware of the facts.
As smartphones continue becoming more technologically generalised, Spain is identified as one of the leading European smartphone market penetrations. From the different results collected, it is evident that between the excessive usage of the smartphone by the teenagers and the cognitive avoidance coping the approximation of behaviour and their frequent and occasional usage, there are also other differences that exist between the different sexes. All the coping strategies towards the problem that mainly affects girls make the age of interaction and usage of mobile phones variable, especially in teenagers between 16-18 years who are the most frequent users (Cihak, 2018). However, it is essential to note that teenagers are the most venerable towards the development of excessive smartphone usage even with those confronting the problem using an approximation do not use it in excess.
2.2 Aims and Goals
The aims and goals of teenagers having a smartphone are mainly to cause a positive impact. Smartphones with the latest technology are a must-have for teenagers, making them a trendy gadget taking the world market by storm. With the latest times and evolution teenagers, if at all they have money accessibility they create room for new marketing ideas that can cause their money to be spent with the trends that have been taking place teenagers have always had essentials as the youth culture has always begun with teenagers (Alderman, et al., 2018). Having the right smartphone has been termed as a status symbol, with smartphones having more purposes in the twenty-first century than just having an identity expression but rather making a vital adolescence tool.
Smartphones among teenagers are not only just phones but devices of entertainment whose functionality causes an elevation of the common teenage affliction. Most teenagers have a mode two modes that include boredom and sleeping. Pew research has shown that teenagers use their smartphones not just to text and call. Still, the highest percentage use their smartphones; to take photos, share their picture with others, play music, play games, exchange videos, exchange instant messages, go online for general purposes, access social media sites, use emails, and purchase goods using their phones (Cuadrado-Gordillo, & Fernández-Antelo, 2019). The introduction of smartphones to teenagers is meant to give them freedom, such as giving them the convenience of communicating any time despite their location.
Most importantly, if they are in real need of accessing something. Statistics show that a high percentage of teenagers who own smartphones agree that their smartphones make it easy for them to have a change of plans easily. Most of the time, smartphones can afford a greater flexibility degree than any other previous generation has experienced. The argument given in this case is that when making social plans, smartphones have great affordability of giving flexibility more than it has been experienced in the previous generations. Most teenagers have viewed text messages to redirect groups to visiting new destinations (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). The allowing of web browsing by smartphones gives room for the easy allocation of activities meant to follow with details of the location being provided from anywhere at any time.
Research shows that most teenagers approve that the use of smartphones influences most of their need’s changes. However, with the growing technology, the essay aims to show that the brand and type of smartphone that a teenager claim may change because of the smartphone’s functionality and fashion. In contrast, a smartphone is not an option anymore but a must-have for every teenager living in the twenty-first century (Alderman, et al., 2018). The goal of the essay is to explain how teenagers feel that having a smartphone gives them more freedom for them to be able to communicate to their parents and friends as through a smartphone, they can easily express their feelings.
2.3 Limitation of the research
There is a need to consider that the claims that are already in existence are more theoretical than factual as the use of smartphones in Spain among teenagers has only been adopted in the last couple of years that has passed. The research that has already been conducted does not give enough evidence in relation to the impact that the use of smartphones among teenagers has affected their lives. The use of smartphones among teenagers does not guarantee the negative impacts that smartphones have caused will reduce within the coming number of years (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). Given that cases of depression and other mental illnesses will continue increasing not because there is the use of smartphones among teenagers but because of the lack of maturity that exists with the use of smartphones.
There have been limited guidelines in the life cycle of the production of smartphones towards the maintenance and management of the devices connected to the internet. The lack of authentication and standardization of the edge devices that are related to the formation of smartphones has made it hard for the formation and establishment of the best practices that can be applied towards the usage of smartphones among young people. This is mostly on the responses related to the different activities available on the mobile apps (Cihak, 2018). The available interfaces that are linked to being operated by smartphones have restricted interactions between the different applications that are there in smartphones, thus concluding that there is actually not much focus that has been directed in the identification of methods that can help towards achieving situational awareness of the mobile phone security posture.
The connectivity of many apps to the smartphone will continue to grow, making the smartphone become a centralized system that can be used in the bottlenecks brokerage. Because the internet growth is continuing, more teenagers not only in Spain will need to have huge investments in the latest technologies and the amount of spending taking place in the maintenance of servers that help keep the population connected to the internet. However, the exchange of large amounts of information through smartphone devices can cause the internet systems to go down if no server is available (Alderman, et al., 2018). The future of the youth is more dependent on their smartphones and the internet, and it, therefore, makes the functionality movement of the smartphones to become partially possible.
There needs to be considered that need to be made on the scientific research for it is hard to identify how long what has already been put in place by the smartphones will go on. Even though there is enough evidence that has been provided and made available on the impact of the smartphone on teenagers between 14-18 years in Spain, there needs to be more research. Some of the characteristics that are developed amongst these teenagers to identify that they are fully linked to the smartphones, or there are other factors that can be related to some of the habits that are identified among the Spanish teenagers by comparing whether they are identifiable among other teenagers worldwide (Cihak, 2018). However, a time passage will be the only way that will bring the revolution of smartphones and their impact to its full potential.
3.1 The technology
Smartphone technology has been linked to a number of effects on teenagers in Spain, and therefore there is no drought that a smartphone is a handy tool. Any technology that is connected to the easing of communication does not lack a negative impact connected to it (Bassette, et al., 2018). It has been noted that the impact that smartphones have had on the young teenagers in Spain and the society at large has been immense, thus requiring much attention to be laid when a parent is giving their teen a smartphone. In the discussion, there will be the inclusion of how smartphones have affected teenagers in Spain.
3.2 Stress and teen tendonitis
The fact that teenagers prefer sending messages to calling can lead to developing teen tendonitis, which causes them to feel pain in their necks, backs, and hands due to the poor posture they expose themselves to. The excessive smartphone uses results in musculoskeletal disorders and arthritis on the thumbs and forearms. Because of the disorders, teenagers can have stress because they are tempted to spend the whole day texting and talking instead of engaging themselves in more productive things (Cihak, 2018). The various research conducted shows that the smartphone technology in Spain has had the teenagers who spend most of their time using their smartphones be more prone to depression, anxiety, and stress. This thus makes them be at risk of having mental health problems.
3.3 Sleep loss and accidents
Most of the teenagers aged between 1-18 in Spain have been shown in research that they keep their smartphones near where they sleep in order for them to be able to remain reachable all the time and also answer calls and texts as fast as possible. Because of this behaviour, they become more likely to suffer from sleep interruption because they mostly suffer from increased tiredness. Lack of enough sleep makes it possible for teenagers to cause accidents as they drive as they may sleep off, especially when driving for long distances (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). Teenagers are also highly linked to being the population that attends to text and calls while driving, which is dangerous since they are more likely to be distracted than adults. The use of smartphones while driving should be a strict no.
3.4 Anxiety and Cancer
Smartphone technology to the teenagers due to the replying of text as their primary communication mode can cause teens to have increased anxiety. Texting can be linked to being quantifiable instantly but mostly produces anxiety. It is normal having elation and joy after receiving a reply from a friend, but if there is no response or delayed response can cause worry and disappointment (Cuadrado-Gordillo, & Fernández-Antelo, 2019). The addiction towards smartphones among teenagers mostly turns to become an obsession that causes increased anxiety through creating an illusion that one has received even when there is none causing them to have a frequent check on their phones.
In the linkage of smartphones to cancer, there has been not much clear evidence of the relationship between smartphone usage and cancer. However, some of the data collected from Spain and other European countries show that there are chances of having an increase of teenagers in their youth acquiring acoustic neuroma, especially amongst the people who have used a smartphone for more than two years (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). However, it is essential to note that there is no such clear evidence to support cancer risk towards the usage of smartphones for phone usage has had a broad range of effects being linked to health.
- Cyber bullying and false prestige
Studies conducted amongst 14–18-year-old teenagers have shown that around ten percent of the teenagers have been cyber bullied through smartphones, and about 15% have received online cyber bullying. Another small percentage also have, through their smartphones, cyber-bullied someone. Cyber bullying from surveys makes teenagers feel will and sad to even attend school (Sirola, et al., 2021). At the same time, children who have been cyber bullied are exposed to being at higher risk of developing mental disorders and problems linked to their psychology, such as depression, high rates of anxiety, and problems of falling asleep. Unlike physical bullying, cyber bullying among teenagers is not easy to identify.
Most of the time, it is not invisible, and the perpetrators can hide behind the anonymity that the internet offers. Due to peer pressure and the latest developments that are available on smartphones, it has become easy for teenagers to have information access. Most of the time, teenagers are not able to internalize and reason that most of the things that the internet and social media project are not true. Naïve teenagers have gone ahead to follow and do what they see on the internet, making them live in a fantasy world, pushing them to have a false prestige being developed in them (Cihak, 2018). Most of these teenagers to maintain the standards they see online they result to ending up in crime in order for them to make their fantasies fulfilled.
- Vision problem and Obesity
The smartphone technology among teenagers in Spain has exposed them to obesity, whereby those in constant use of their smartphones are exposed to developing obesity. Most of them are also likely not to exercise and have less sleep. The consecutive use of smartphones is linked to the many vision problems that teenagers in Spain are experiencing. Among 30 teenagers, 25 likely have vision issues directly linked to their constant use of smartphones. Some of the symptoms that can be liked with vision problems include; having dry eyes, redness, stress, blurred vision, and a burning sensation. Excessive smartphone usage has led to the creation of more problems and surpassed its usefulness among teenagers (Cuadrado-Gordillo, & Fernández-Antelo, 2019). However, creating public awareness can help teenagers limit their smartphone usage. Through having ground rules set and making them strict to every teenager in Spain, and making them aware of the discussed points linked to the negative effects that the smartphone technology has exposed them to when they overuse their smartphones.
4. Analysis of the research
The impact of smartphone usage is well discussed. It is important to note that smartphone technology will continue advancing and is here to stay forever. It is the duty of the country and parents to teach their teenagers about the safety of their smartphones and how they can responsibly use them through having a clear definition of the boundaries they should observe when using their smartphones responsibly (Sirola, et al., 2021). The boundaries should be agreed upon to avoid the adverse effects of teenagers using smartphones. Some of the ways that teenagers’ smartphone usage can be controlled are by negotiating with the teenagers on the amount of time they should use on the smartphone and the amount of money spent for their long usage of the smartphone. As older adults, it is important to explain the need for their impulse curbing of instant text replying.
While driving, they need to understand why they should have their smartphones off while driving and also why they should have while going to sleep in order for them to have a well-maintained schedule of sleep to avoid the development of anxiety problems. Adults and experts in technology should explain the importance of teenagers having moderate conversations on their smartphones (Cihak, 2018). It can help them reduce the negative, ill effects of the pronged usage of smartphones by encouraging them to limit the conversation to not more than 40 minutes a day. Teenagers should be encouraged to install apps that can help them with their coordination of keeping track of their daily phone usage.
A monthly plan option should be given to them as most monthly plan options have text messages and call minutes that are regulated. Therefore, they can be advocated as they can help even the parents track how often the teenagers send messages and to what numbers these people communicate too often (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). Also, parents should ensure that their teenagers spend some of their time doing physical activities, for example, walking and running, and they should be encouraged to leave their phones behind.
5. Discussion and evaluation
The extent to which smartphone usage has created an impact on the virtual identity of the young Spanish youth aged 14-18 years has shown that health problems can be connected to the virtual usage of smartphones by teenagers, thus causing interference in their daily lives. Beyond having the smartphone having a positive contribution to specific applications and utilities, the problematic usage among teenagers continues to be analysed in connection to the data provided in Spain on the patterns and differences of smartphone usage in connection to cyberbullying, habitual use, and other problematic usages linked to the smartphone among the young people (Sirola, et al., 2021). The problematic usage of smartphones has become consistent with abuse of self-perception directly linked to social media, mobile games, internet browsing, and music, with the most preferred applications being Twitter, music applications, and Facebook.
Suppose there is not much care that is taken among the teenagers. In that case, the problems linked to smartphone usage will continue increasing, which translates to increased mental illnesses that will cause much more resources to be spent in the treatment of mental illnesses and the experience of a high number of teenagers taking their own lives due to cyber burring (Rodríguez-de-Dios, et al., 2018). Despite the benefits linked to smartphone invention, the negativities have taken over, especially because teenagers’ smartphone usage is addictive and causes sleep disruptions and loneliness which makes it hard for teenagers to maintain conversation face to face.
The positive impact smartphones were aimed to hold in society should be maintained. It was for a good course of keeping people connected to their loved ones with the increased globalization by making the devices easy to carry and having applications developed to keep people connected and strengthen their communications with those they care about (Cihak, 2018). The government and parents should take it as their initiative to educate the teenagers in Spain on how more screen time affects their psychology and explain more on the effects caused to the brain by smartphone usage.
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