For those interested in improving their social interactions and increasing their ability to maintain relationships, it may be a brilliant idea to reduce the amount of time spent using a cell phone and replace this with face to face interactions. In the past, cell phones were used to convey information through calls and SMS. However, with modern technology, smartphones have emerged that have a wide range of uses, increasing the amount of time spent on the phone and the rate of dependence. Individuals now use cellphones to access the internet, for social media, to obtain educational and informative information, to take and exchange pictures, and for business among other uses. The increase in the number of services available to the users has resulted to addictiveness and high rates of dependence, thus affecting the thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyles of users negatively. As such, cell phone use increases loneliness because it promotes anti-social behavior, leads to addiction, and affects personal relationships, although contrary views show that cell phone use assists lonely individuals to interact with others and thus reduces loneliness.
Cell phone use promotes loneliness among users because it leads to the development of anti-social behavior through the replacement of face to face interactions. According to Tan, Pamuk, & Dönder, (610), an increase in the time allocated to the use of cell phones led to a decrease in involvement in social interactions, especially those that require face to face interactions. Most of the activities carried out on the phone are quite involving and interesting. As such, they distract individuals from interactions and provide them with a different form of enjoyment. This dependence might make individuals. Since most cell phone use behaviors are reciprocated, such individuals might experience loneliness. According to Tan (610), use of cell phones for purposes of reducing loneliness, isolation, and depression leads to an increase in the negative effects on psychological well-being and social presence, hence causing even more isolation. Different cell phone use behaviors have diverse social implications. Use of cellphones for calling reduces loneliness while use of phones for gaming, taking photos, and using the internet cultivates anti-social tendencies and hence promotes isolation. The loneliness resulting from problematic cellphone use increases when individuals experiencing the problem spend even more time on their phones. A study by also showed that excessive cell phone use led to a reduction in life satisfaction and thus increased loneliness. Therefore, excess cell phone use leads to the reduction of physical interactions and thus leads to the development of feelings of isolation.
Additionally, excessive cell phone use causes addiction and dependence, and hence promotes loneliness. Young people are the greatest victims of cell phone addiction due to inability to regulate the time spent on different phone activities (Nuray 648). This finding explains why there is a greater prevalence of psychological and behavioral problems among the young people. The study by Nuray (p648) revealed that college students spent an average of five hours on their cell phones daily. The study showed that addiction to phones caused mental problems that led to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Addiction to mobile phones has a negative effect on social skills and self-confidence (Nuray 648). Resultantly, victims of the addiction develop fear and insecurities, making them opt to isolate themselves and avoid social interactions.
Moreover, excessive phone use affects personal relationships, which leads to the inability to maintain friendships and relationships. Dependence on phones leads to negative outcomes such as lateness to appointments, use of lies to cover up the amount of time spent on the phone, inability to concentrate in discussions and social interactions, and misplaced priorities (Bian 69). These negative outcomes might lead to elimination from social groups, broken friendships and relationships, and lack of trust. Resultantly, the alienated individual might end up without friends, hence causing loneliness. The antisocial effects of cell phone use are worse because individuals carry phones everywhere, thus affecting the development and maintenance of relationships. Therefore, apart from self-isolation, individuals addicted to phones might lose their relationships with other people.
However, opponents indicate that cell phones are an important tool for reducing loneliness among individuals experiencing isolation or those dealing with communication problems. Bian (73) revealed that cell phone use is higher among individuals experiencing shyness and loneliness and is an important tool in enhancing social interaction. Lonely and shy individuals use different phone activities such as gaming, texting, and photo sharing to interact with others without caring about non-verbal cues. This finding is ironical because increased use translates into addiction regardless of the motives for use. Shy and lonely individuals tend to over use phone activities, and might thus disregard the harmful consequences of the dependence (Bian 74). Addiction exposes cell phone users to the same problems they seek to escape, and sometimes leads to worse mental problems. Hence, this shows that phone dependence generates more negative results than the initial problems that an individual wishes to escape.
Increased use of cell phones has surpassed the communication threshold and has thus caused numerous effects on the users. One major effect of excessive phone use is the promotion of loneliness resulting from development of antisocial behavior and feelings, addiction, and broken friendships and relationships. Therefore, there is need to consider the illusions created by cell phone use and the subsequent psychological effects.