Chapter 6: 21st-century media and issues
For my final research essay, I chose to write about the effects that mobile devices have on peoples’ communication skills. This appealed to me immediately because I am studying computer science and plan to use technology in my day-to-day work experience. Technology has been advancing at an incredible rate. The improvements and innovations that are being produced are accelerating and technology has been playing a larger and larger role in today’s society. Almost everyone nowadays has a cell phone, and most of those people have a smart phone. Also, in almost every office workspace, workers spend most of their time using a computer to complete their day-to-day tasks. This is what intrigued and influenced my decision the most when it came to selecting my major. Computers are becoming a staple in everyone’s lives, whether it be a computer for work, a smart phone for personal use, or a child’s gaming system for entertainment. Although the use of these devices can provide a lot of positive benefits, are there any negative effects? Almost everyone uses a mobile device or tablet every day, however, are there any long-term lasting effects that are associated with this usage.
First, I would like to tackle what academic fields would be interested in my thesis. By analyzing the long-term effects of mobile device usage, many fields can be interested in this topic. One academic field that immediately comes to mind is psychology. Psychology is deeply invested in the affects that technology has on behavior. With that being said, psychologists would be interested in the fact that technology could be causing social anxiety in some individuals. Building on this, anyone in the health care industry could be interested in this as well. Health care workers are always researching the negative physical affects of extensive technology use. Whether this be the strain that a digital screen has on an individual’s eyes or the posture that they sit in when using the device. These workers would help create a recommended time that each person would be suggested to use technology per day. Next, anyone in the field of technology. I am currently studying computer science and have seen the effects that technology has on a worker. Being on a computer everyday take a toll mentally on an individual. One effect that has been apparent when searching for research articles has been the decrease in communication skills. When programming, many times you are working on a team with other programmers trying to complete a project. With a lack of communication, completing the project may be harder than if communication was sufficient. Lastly, universities should be very interested in this topic. I have gone through two universities with the same major and neither of them have valued the skill of communication. More group-oriented and communication courses should be required for a major that would require teamwork in the future.
After introducing my topic and thesis, I plan on introducing the addiction to technology that our society has become accustomed to. I will attempt to answer questions such as, “How many devices does each household have?”, “How long does the average human spend on technology? Cell phone? Tablets?”, and “Are people actually addicted to technology?” I plan on using these questions to connect with the audience and try to relate to their life. Almost everyone has some type of device that they use on a day-to-day basis. Most of them do not realize how much they actually use it nor if they are addicted or not. The reader understanding the significance of these questions and their answers can really help my paper and stress the importance that addiction to technology has on my thesis. I will introduce some statistics from the source, “Cell Phone Addiction: Stats and Signs”. This source is not a scholarly article however it comes from an organizational website. This gives the source more credibility than a commercial website. After this paragraph, I will start dissecting the correlation of technological advancements and the increase in social anxiety in our society.
My next body paragraph will discuss how technology is advancing in today’s society and how more and more people are becoming socially anxious. I will attempt to answer questions such as, “Is social anxiety a cause or underlying effect of excessive technology use?” and “What are some tendencies that humans develop from technology that make their communication skills so poor?” I have found a great article published by Bentley University that can answer most of these questions. Most of the information is taken from a professor there that studies almost exactly what my thesis argues. Greg Hall, a cyberpsychology professor at Bentley University, states that there are many “by-products” that are produced by the extensive use of technology. I believe that the purpose of this paragraph will do exactly as the one proceeding it. This body paragraph will attempt to make a similar connection to the audience by bringing some of these bad tendencies to light. Hopefully, this will help the readers realize that this is a prominent problem in today’s society. The next paragraph will introduce statistics about when kids receive their first mobile device and how often today’s youth spend on their phones.
After introducing the idea of how fast technology and mobile devices are advancing, I will present the audience with statistics that represent the addiction that today’s youth have to their mobile devices. I found a couple articles that contain a lot of useful information in supporting this argument. I will also answer questions such as “When do kids typically receive their first mobile device?” and “How much of today’s youth possess a mobile device?” These are important questions to answer because it starts to draw the connection with the audience how often they use their smartphones as well. Seeing numbers that represent how our culture is moving towards complete cybernetic dependency can be a major supporting detail in my research paper. After this I will touch on how this dependency directly correlates to cyberbullying which later leads to social anxiety and issues in public speaking/face-to-face communication.
My next paragraph will touch on the concept of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the teasing or bullying of another person over a mobile device or social media platform. This topic is very broad and can be broken up into two paragraphs. The first paragraph would answer questions like, “What is cyberbullying?” and “How many kids experience cyberbullying in their lifetime?” After introducing these topics and data, I would continue on into my next paragraph that would dive deeper into studies that research the correlation and causation of social anxiety and other psychological issues that the youth experience due to cyberbullying. After this I will begin my next paragraph talking about the number of kids and adolescents that experience social anxiety and other issues that involve communication and public speaking.
In the next paragraphs I will talk about social anxiety in children and young adults. I will first explain what social anxiety is and what are some of the symptoms. After that I will answer questions such as “How many kids/young adults have SAD?”, “How to know if you have SAD?” and “Do mobile devices have an effect on developing such a fear of speaking in front of crowds and fear of social humiliation?” I have a few sources that can help me argue and answer these points. I plan on using these paragraphs as the most significant part of my paper and where all the proceeding body paragraphs can relate to.
In my conclusion I plan on wrapping all of the information previously presented up and connecting it all together. I also plan on reintroducing these points and some of the key quotes/statistics into my conclusion. I will also reintroduce my thesis statement: mobile devices have become more popular in the younger generation and can increase the development in social anxiety in today’s youth.
Alghamdi, Yasser. “Negative Effects of Technology on Children of Today.” Oakland
Yasser Alghamdi presents their research about the negative effects that daily technology use is having on children. Alghamdi starts by saying that there are many benefits to the use of technology in classrooms. However, there are many downsides that can occur in children with the use of this technology such as depression, social isolation, and their physical health. This article can help my paper tremendously as it adds another perspective along with research about the troubles that children have forming relationships after using technology every day.
Bentley University. “How Technology Is Causing Anxiety.” Bentley University, 19 Oct. 2018,
Bentley University publishes this article that discusses the correlation between the way that technology is advancing and how it is affecting humans psychologically. I plan to use this article to help strengthen my argument about how the extensive use of technology is making people more socially anxious. Bentley also takes some quotes from a professor that is studying these tendencies at the university. The article provides many points that can support this argument and even more points that I can use to support my thesis statement.
Brown, Cecilia. “Are We Becoming More Socially Awkward? An Analysis of the Relationship
Between Technological Communication Use and Social Skills in College Students.”
Cecilia Brown conducts research and an experiment on college students to analyze if the use of technology to communicate has decreased our communication skills. She also analyzes the amount of social anxiety each college student was experiencing during this procedure. At the end of the experiment, Brown concludes that the preference of communication over technology directly correlates to lower social skills and higher social anxiety. This paper will help immensely by providing a clear and concise experiment that can be referenced in my research paper.
Enough Is Enough: Cyberbullying, Enough Is Enough, enough.org/stats_cyberbullying.
Enough Is Enough is an organization that’s agenda is to decrease the amount of cyberbullying that occurs to children. This article that they posted presents statistics about cyberbullying ranging from the early 2010’s to as recent as 2019. There are broad statistics that include the percentage of kids that experience cyberbullying. Also, there are statistics that are more concise like what social media apps are most prominent for cyberbullying. This article can be dedicated to a paragraph by itself with how much useful data and information it contains.
Hoge, Elizabeth, David Bickham, and Joanne Cantor. “Digital media, anxiety, and depression in
children.” Pediatrics 140.Supplement 2 (2017): S76-S80.
Elizabeth Hoge, David Bickham, and Joanne Cantor present the impact that social media has on the youth’s mental health. The authors break down the thesis into six different areas and research each category meticulously. This is a great source for the thesis because it directly tackles and presents facts about the focal point of the research paper. This source is a scholarly article that dives deep into the effects that social media has on children’s mental health. It also targets the correlation between social anxiety and how technology can directly cause lack of communication in younger people.
Kamenetz, Anya. “It’s A Smartphone Life: More Than Half Of U.S. Children Now Have One.”
NPR, NPR, 31 Oct. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/10/31/774838891/its-a-smartphone-life-more-thanhalf-of-u-s-children-now-have-one.
This article comes from a credible organization named NPR. The article is about the number of children that own a smartphone. Many of the statistics are easy to comprehend and read. They are also many of them that have many different stipulations including age group. These statistics will fit right into my paper and help support my statement that more and more kids are receiving cell phones. By supporting this statement, the following statistics about the increase in social anxiety will become more meaningful.
King University. “Cell Phone Addiction: Stats and Signs.” King University Online, 27 July 2017,
Although this article is not a scholarly article, it provides a lot of insightful information
that can help support my thesis. This article provides a lot of statistics about how the people in
our society. I plan on using this article fairly early on in my research paper. The statistics can
paint a picture in the readers head early on and stick with them throughout the whole paper.
Also, the information can help understand the amount of time that the reader actually spends on
technology each day and create that personal connection.
Leigh, Eleanor, and David M Clark. “Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents and Improving Treatment Outcomes: Applying the Cognitive Model of Clark and Wells (1995).” Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Springer US, Sept. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6447508/.
This academic article is published by a .gov source which makes it extremely reputable and strengthens the credibility of my research. Although no connection is drawn between technology and social anxiety, this source will help my paper immensely. This will give me professional information on what social anxiety disorder is and present facts about how to identify it. Without this source it would be hard to explain what this disorder is and how to identify it.
Nixon, Charisse L. “Current perspectives: the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent
health.” Adolescent health, medicine and therapeutics vol. 5 143-58. 1 Aug. 2014, doi:10.2147/AHMT.S36456
This article written by Charisse Nixon dissects the correlational studies between cyberbullying and health issues between adolescents. This article is broader although it can still support my paper with a couple key factors. Some of the studies target physical health issues, but some of the studies target psychological issues like depressive symptoms and anxiety in social situations. With the right quotes and information, this article can significantly support my paper and help stress the importance of social interaction outside of just mobile devices.
Orlowski, Jeff, director. The Social Dilemma, 2020, www.netflix.com/title/81254224.
The film The Social Dilemma, is a documentary about the prominent use of mobile devices and social media in today’s age. Many of the interviews include top developers in big companies at Silicon Valley such as Facebook, Google, and Instagram. This brings a lot of credibility to my paper considering these are the people that created the applications and functions that I am researching. I will use this in my paper to stress the argument that mobile devices are becoming more and more addictive.
Pinon, Natasha. “A Majority of Kids Have Smartphones by Middle School, Study Finds.”
Mashable, Mashable, 29 Oct. 2019, mashable.com/article/teen-smartphone-usage/.
This website takes statistics and studies from a non-profit organization called Common Sense Media whose goal is to help parents create a safe and healthy environment for their kids when they are using technology. These studies contain statistics about how old kids are when they get their first phone and how much of today’s youth has a cellphone. This is a great segue from the paragraph talking about how technology and mobile devices are expanding. These statistics can be introduced and really put in perspective for the reader how the use of mobile devices is becoming more prominent in today’s society.
Peterka-Bonetta, Jessica, et al. “Personality associations with smartphone and internet use
disorder: A comparison study including links to impulsivity and social
anxiety.” Frontiers in Public Health 7 (2019): 127.
The authors of this scholarly article conduct an experiment that attempts to see if there is a correlation between two disorders and extraversion, agreeableness, and social anxiety. The two disorders that are being focused on are IUD (Internet Use Disorder) and SUD (Smartphone Use Disorder). The results are that there is a correlation between IUD and SUD with extraversion and an underlying condition of social anxiety when it comes to IUD and SUD. This experiment and pieces of data can significantly help back up my thesis and provide strong data to support that technology is decreasing the communication skills of humans.
Wang, Jin-Liang, Jia-Rong Sheng, and Hai-Zhen Wang. “The association between mobile game
addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness.” Frontiers in public health 7
Jin-Liang Wang, Jia-Rong Sheng, and Hai-Zhen Wang present this scholarly article about the association between mobile games and children’s mental health. Although this article focuses a lot on mental health, many of the issues that are being focused on are associated with social interaction and communication. The article also touches on the increase in popularity in these mobile games and the rate at which they are being produced. This scholarly article can create an important component to my paper by adding in statistics about the popularity and production of these applications that are causing these communication problems.