Running head: do smartphones have a positive impact in our lives 1

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Do Smartphones Have a Positive Impact in our lives

Allen Liao

LDS Business College

No matter what we do, whether we are walking on the sidewalk, waiting for a bus, or crossing through the street, we see people with their eyes glued to their five-inch screens in their hands. In our day, smartphones are everywhere, and they have captured the attention of people, especially the younger generations (Tan, 2013). With the convenience of smartphones and their applications, we use them to deal with everything that we need to accomplish (Autumn, 2012). Many of us spend more time on our smartphones than anything else. The article “The relationship between life stress and smartphone addiction on taiwanese university student: A meditation model of learning self-Efficacy and social self-Efficacy” by Shou-I Chiu argues that smartphone addiction influences many different perspectives of our lives with strong points and a fallacy; several other articles on the topic support this author’s position, while some disagree.

First, Chiu started his illustration by revealing how the smartphone addiction is actually closely related to the stress in social life. From his perspective, people who have an addiction to their smartphones are usually those with a low self-efficacy as well, which in turn, creates stress for the individual. The reason is because people usually build up their self-confidence and self-consciousness through their experiences interacting with others in reality. The ability to easily talk to others on their smartphones is actually isolating them from opportunities to learn and to develop their self-efficacy. On the other hand, Chiu also pointed out that the people who have no addiction to their smartphones are better working face to face with others and have a


higher self-efficacy (2014).

Instead of only receiving messages from the screen, they are facing real people. They can perceive different emotions from people’s reactions during the conversation, and they have to learn to handle different situations when challenges come their way. These valuable experiences and communication skills cannot be learned from texting on smartphones. Therefore, smartphone addiction might lead to less successful experiences compared to the others who have no such addiction. When we put a person’s social life in perspective, it becomes easy to tell how much stress and pressure smartphone addiction generates for those who suffer from the addiction (Chiu, 2014).

Another article titled “Learn to switch off-Why not give your smartphone a holiday” by Clarissa Tan, supports Chiu’s point. She points out the connection between social stress and smartphone addiction. In her writing, she emphasized how young people are stuck to their smartphones and how smartphones become their primary source for social media. Smartphones allow them to have access to the Internet in any place and any time. Therefore, people rely on their phones so much that they even feel stressed if they do not check their smartphones all the time. They are afraid of missing text messages, and they are anxious when their friends do not reply to their comments right away. They believe that the most enticing benefit of their smartphones is using the applications (for example, Facebook), which connect them to their friends all the time, and they are able to keep track of more people this way. In fact, they have

DO SMARTPHONES HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN OUR LIVES 4 to fulfill an obligation to their smartphones; once they are addicted to their phones, it will be a burden for them if their smartphones are taken away from them (2013). From this point of view we can also see how smartphone addiction causes social stress for the people who are addicted to them. It supports Chiu’s statement very well about how smartphone addictions can lead to social stress in our lives.

Secondly, Chiu’s research also mentioned how smartphone addiction has a negative impact on the academic performance of students. He made a comment that the students who have an addiction to their smartphones are not performing as well as the others who have no addiction (2014). Indeed, some students have spent huge amounts of time on their smartphones playing games or watching movies instead of focusing on their academics. We can also see in the classrooms that many students are distracted by their smartphones and ignore their professors who are sharing valuable knowledge and experiences with them. In addition, because of the convenience of the smartphones, students are not working as hard as they used to be. They can simply “Google” the answer on their smartphones instead of researching or studying by themselves (Chiu, 2014).

Contrary to what Chiu believes, there is an article” Prediction of User Acceptance and Adoption of Smart Phone for Learning with Technology Acceptance Model” written by Yong-Wee Sek and his team. They conducted a survey by giving smartphones to sixty volunteers who had never owned a smartphone before. They were given and then asked to incorporate

DO SMARTPHONES HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN OUR LIVES 5 smartphones in academic study. During this process they explored and documented the change in attitude these volunteers had towards smartphones. They based their conclusions on the functionality and usefulness smartphones offered their users. In the end, those who participated commented that their attitudes changed and they felt more positively towards the use of smartphones.

Students are actually more motivated to learn since they now have different options when it comes to receiving knowledge other than through the conventional classroom. Smartphones have broken the limits set by textbooks, classrooms, and schools. Through smartphones, students are able to gain knowledge in whatever they are interested in, and they can learn at their own pace as well. They can spend an entire day on their smartphones digging out valuable information from the internet (Sek, Lau, Teoh, Law, & Parumo, 2010).

On one hand, Chiu believes that smartphones have a negative effect on students. On the other hand, we can learn from Yong-Wee Sek’s teams’ study that smartphones can be beneficial to learning. We can compare the people who are “addicted” to their smartphones only because of their desire to continually learn new things and those who have no addiction yet have zero desire to learn regardless of the source. In the end we can only conclude that the addiction of the smartphones can be either a positive or a negative influence, and academic performance depends on the motivation of each individual (2010).

Chiu’s last point expanded his perspective of the relationship between smartphone addiction DO SMARTPHONES HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN OUR LIVES 6

and self-efficacy. He profoundly emphasized the effect of self-efficacy in the article. “Thus, efficacy beliefs allow students to readily participate in learning activities, acquire more active learning habits, work harder, exhibit greater persistence when encountering difficulties, appear less anxious, accept challenging tasks, spend more time pursuing goals, undergo extensive cognitive processing and engagement, employ self-regulatory strategies, and set additional mastery goals.” With this comment, he explained not only how self-efficacy helps the people but also the potential that people can reach with self-efficacy. On the other hand, he related others who have the smartphone addition to lower self-efficacy and less successful achievements in life (2014)

With regard to Chiu’s perspective about smartphones leading to less success in life, Clarissa Tan has a completely different view. She argued that the progress of technology has created a new era for us. We are able to achieve many great things and work with others through the Internet, and the invention of the smartphone is a witness of that progress. The ability to talk to every individual in the world using the smartphones is actually a great step to enlarge our vision to see different cultures and features of the God’s creations (Tan, 2013). This is on the opposite position of Chiu who claimed that the smartphone addiction leads to the less success (2014).

From Tan’s statement above, we can easily see that there is a slippery slope fallacy in Chiu’s opinion. Smartphone addiction does not always immediately lower self-efficacy and lead to less success in life, because there are many elements that are behind smartphone DO SMARTPHONES HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN OUR LIVES 7

addiction. There is another study that confirms this. In the article” Why smartphone advertising attracts customers: A model of Web advertising, flow, and personalization” Kim and Han imply that there are people who have spent great amounts of time on their smartphones for opening different possibilities for the business. Since smartphone, advertising through the smartphones has become one of the most effective ways to reach the customers. In their perspective, the smartphone addiction is actually a rock-hard stage to enhance commercial transactions (Kim & Han, 2014). This is leading to many different perspectives of our commercial developments toward the success. Finally, Chiu’s point about smartphone addiction and less successful experiences is less credible, because of other two articles opposite statements.

Finally, some of Chiu’s points that he feels strongly about smartphone addiction are valid, while others are invalid. From different authors’ writings, we can actually see there are some varied views and opinions that Chiu does not include in his article. Chiu has illustrated his points very well, but he has to place wider considerations and deeper thoughts in his writing. From his writing, we can see what are the influences of smartphone addiction. But when he explains his opinions, he does not dig much about the deeper reason behind the addiction. Therefore, his article will not be as solid as it could be when other authors argue the opposite points with clear explanations.



Autumn, A.A. (2012). There’s an app for that. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. 29(14), 14-15. Retrieved from

Chiu, S.I. (2014). The relationship between life stress and smartphone addiction on taiwanese university student: A mediation model of learning self-Efficacy and social self-Efficacy. Computers in Human Behavior. 34. 49-57. Retrieved from

Kim, Y.J. & Han, J.Y. (2014). Why smartphone advertising attracts customers: A model of web advertising, flow, and personalization. Computers in Human Behavior. 33, 256-269. Retrieved from

Tan, C. (2013). Learn to switch off: Why not give your smartphone a holiday? Spectator. 322(9650), 14. Retrieved from

Sek, Y.W., Lau, S.H., Teoh, K.K., Law, C.Y. & Parumo, S.B. (2010). Prediction of user acceptance and adoption of smartphone for learning with technology acceptance model. Journal of Applied Sciences. 10(20), 2395. Retrieved from

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