The Effect of Smartphone on Children

Subject: Psychology
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 11
Word count: 2677
Topics: Childhood, Addiction, Parenting, Smartphone


Psychology has a clear-cut perspective on children using smartphone. Children’s wellbeing and learning are directly affected by the excessive use of smartphone (Niemtus & Marsh, 2015). At the same time, some psychologists believe that tablets and smartphones negatively impact on the emotional and social development of children (Walters, 2015). However, some psychologists agree that an effective parental involvement would positively affect the emotional and psychological development of children using smartphone (Solon, 2016). Based on this situation, it can be easily extracted that children alone are not capable to avoid the negative effects of the smartphone usage as they are not psychologically mature enough to understand the impacts of such usage. On the contrary, some psychologists find that the usage of smartphone has both positive and negative effects and it is the primary responsibility of parents to understand the sensitivity of the situation.

Study Rationale 

Psychologists are divided about the actual or potential benefits and detrimental effects of smartphone usage for children. Some suggest that its usage is highly constructive and positive for children if parents are actively involved (Solon, 2016). On the contrary, the opponents do not agree with this perspective instead they opine that the smartphone usage is substantially harmful for children even if some parents are involved. It is the objective of this study to evaluate whether an effective parenting with regard to children using smartphone helps children to receive constructive benefits from the usage of the smartphone.

Research Questions

Is smartphone usage an addiction for children?

What are the effects of smartphone usage on children?

What is the parental responsibility for children using smartphone?


Data Collection

Three articles have been analysed. First, “Giving your child a smartphone is like giving them a gram of cocaine, says top addiction expert”; this is written by Racheal Pells, who is an education correspondent for the Independent newspaper. This article was published on 7 June, 2017. The second article is “Children as young as 13 attending ‘smartphone rehab’ as concerns grow over screen time”; and it is written by Katie Forster on 14 April 2017. Third article is “Child smartphone and tablet usage linked to speech delays in toddlers, find researchers”; this article is written by Olivia Blair and it was published on 5 May, 2017. 

Only those articles were chosen which mentioned the words “smartphone” and “children” in their title. This criterion was used for selecting and rejecting the articles. 

Data Analysis 

Thematic analysis remains the most important data analysis strategy. In this type of strategy, a researcher is required to search out only those extracts which offer a central theme relating to the topic. For example, every article has a central idea and that central idea highlights various aspects, perspectives, causes, effects, solutions, and other associated factors. After knowing the central idea, the researcher is required to quote the central theme and subsequently the researcher evaluates them. 

For this paper, the thematic analysis of three articles published in Independent newspaper has been selected. First, the paper requires only three important articles relating to the effects of smartphone on children. For this objective, only those articles were chosen which were highly related with the topic. More importantly, other analysis methods in the qualitative research, such as interviews, observations, questionnaires, are highly time consuming and costly as well. When the thematic analysis is compared with the other methods, this method is not only easy but also cost effective as well. On the contrary, other methods are difficult as they require numerous requirements, including the selection of respondents, their sample size and other attached factors, make them highly challenging for the researcher to select and use them when there is a limited time period. 

Research Ethics

Plagiarism has been avoided. In order to effectively avoid committing this academic offence, the author has appropriately followed the standards of Harvard referencing. For example, there are two steps to include a quotation. First, in-text citation in which words of the original author is used within the text by correctly mentioning the last name of author and year as well. After this step, a reference list is prepared in which author’s full name; year, work title, organization name, city, publisher and other features related with the type of quoted material are included. 

Personal work and efforts have made this work possible. It is academically and professionally incorrect to obtain the support or assistance from other students. And, this aspect has also been taken into account. Therefore, the author has not obtained any kind of support or assistance from other students instead the author has fully relied on the personal professional competency and on writing and research skills for the purpose of satisfying this paper’s objectives. 

Analysis and Discussion 

Themes’ overview

Three themes have been chosen: Smartphone addiction, effects of smartphone usage on children development, and parental responsibility towards children using smartphone. In the first theme, it is attempted to ascertain that whether smartphone usage has become addiction or something else. In the second parts, detrimental effects of smartphone usage on the children’s emotional, social, and other forms of development have been highlighted. In the third section, the role of parents relating to children using smartphone has been discussed and evaluated.

Smartphone Addiction

“I always say to people, when you’re giving your kid a tablet or a phone, you’re really giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of coke”(Saligari 2017 cited in Pells 2017).

The core of this theme is that children using the smartphone have become addicted. And, this type of attachment with the smartphone has been identified as the modern form of addiction. Fundamentally, addiction is a kind of activity in which one is unable to pass or survive without taking or consuming it. If this same definition is applied to the modern type of addiction, it can be easily extracted that the excessive usage of smartphone has become a form of addiction in which one finds it extremely challenging to avoid the use of smartphone. 

This theme clearly indicates that children using smartphone are becoming addicted to smartphone usage. This addiction has been compared with a bottle of wine or a gram of coke in the mentioned theme, clearly highlighting that the smartphone usage is highly detrimental for such children. At the same time, it is worth insisting that those children who constantly use smartphone and consume their maximum time on smartphone have a higher tendency for developing smartphone addiction. 

Also, it has been observed that this kind of activity has peer acceptance. Some children find that their peers also bring smartphone in their social or academic gatherings. This attracts the attention of those children who have little or small knowledge about the smartphone. In other words, the peer acceptance encourages other children to force their parents to buy them a smartphone. At the same time, the provision of games and other attractive features have also contributed to the rise of smartphone addiction in children. Various smartphones have inbuilt different types of games and other fun programmes. The inclusion of such programmes in the smartphone attracts the attention of children who find it highly entertaining. And, things become worse when children observe that other children also use and enjoy the various applications of the smartphone and that becomes socially and personally acceptable. 

We can write
your paper for you
100% original
24/7 service
50+ subjects

Effects of Smartphone usage on Children Development

“If a toddler spends a lot of time playing on a mobile phone or tablet, it may delay when they start talking, researchers have warned”(Blair, 2017). 

In this theme, the author (Blair) is highlighting the most dangerous effect of the smartphone. The psychological and mental wellbeing of a child is important as it enables the child to grow as per the needs of body and mind requirements. If the child finds a natural environment and surrounding including the absence of any mobile gadget, then there are higher chances that the child would experience the natural growth during his various coming stages of life. However, this pace is attacked or weakened by the onslaught of mobile or smartphone because it does not allow the child’s mental and psychological mechanism to work naturally instead the devices create hurdles and challenges for the child. 

Learning and talking are interrelated. At the very initial stage of life, a child observes his or her surroundings so as to assimilate the social and home environment. After a few years, the child needs to learn more things along with developing cognitive skill to memorize and retain things needed for the purpose of communication and speaking. Before the onslaught of the smartphone, children do not have much difficulty in learning and speaking new words. However, because of excessive and easy presence of smartphone everywhere, children are unable to learn their conventional things through the process of observation. Within this context, it is vital to insist that before the smartphone invention, children had ample time to spend with their parents, siblings, relatives, neighbours, and others. This interaction and social atmosphere had a positive and constructive effect on children and they had a better chance to learn things and start talking timely. But now, things have suddenly and sharply changed due to ever increasing usage of the smartphone. And, this is mainly caused by the substantial usage of smartphone. This usage takes away their attention time from other social or personal activities. As a result, they are unable to speak and develop other cognitive and social skills timely.

Attention skills are also affected by the excessive use of smartphone. Attention skills are highly essential for memorizing and retaining things and names of people as well. It has also been observed that the smartphone usage is also detrimental for developing age-related attention skills.

Parental Responsibility

“…talk about tech and how much is good, how much is ok and when does it start to interfere with family relationships, with responsibilities, with sleep, and many other things”(Cash 2017 cited in Froster, 2017).

This theme highlights the importance of parental responsibility with regard to children using the smartphone. The author (Cash) insists that the parents need to understand that the usage of smartphone is a highly serious issue; and it is necessary to talk about this harmful gadget with children. More clearly, he insists that it is the parents’ responsibility that they should first comprehend that the usage of the modern technology has serious ramifications for children’s overall development. 

Based on this perspective, it is vital to mention that this theme clearly holds parents responsible for not fulfilling their parental responsibility. A closer analysis of a today’s family situation, it can be easily suggested that both parents (mother and father) work for satisfying family needs. Historically, it has been observed that father used to work and mother gave full attention to their children. However, this perspective is losing energy and due to inflation and rising cost of living, it has become essential for both parents to find employment and generate enough income for meeting the family needs. Thereby, this modern living style has taken away the most important parental responsibility from parents. As a result, children receive comparatively lesser attention and time from parents. And, this has led to increase in the smartphone usage by children. More specifically, children mainly rely on parents for providing them required amount of attention. Since this expectation of children is not appropriately satisfied by the parents, children are psychologically forced to find other ways of fun and attention. 

Negligent parents also add fuel to the fire of smartphone usage. It has been observed that many parents neglect that their children are becoming addicted to smartphone usage. And, things get worse when they undermine the gravity of this situation by allowing their children to use the smartphone. This is mostly caused by their lack of understanding relating to the excessive smartphone usage by their children. 

Get your paper done on time by an expert in your field.
plagiarism free

Summary and Implications 

Excessive usage of smartphone creates addiction. This finding indicates that the children using smartphone have become addicted; and they find it extremely challenging to change their habit of using the smartphone. And, this has serious ramifications for such children. First, such addicted children may not perform well academically. And, there are higher chances that they bring poor academic results. At the same time, this habit may force them to spend their maximum time on screen of the smartphone. Consequently, this may lead to a weak eye-sight. Second, socially they do not find time for their social gatherings and for their friends and family as well. Instead of passing their some time with their peers, friends, family members, and neighbours, they consume their maximum time using the smartphone. In this way, it will be very difficult to ensure and experience a healthy family relationship. And, in the absence of the healthy family relationship, it is highly likely that such children start to feel isolated and stressed out as well. Subsequently, this may cause tension and misunderstanding and that may lead to communication gap between parents and children. At the same time, the possibility of consuming drugs cannot be ruled out. Since parents and children are unable to observe normalcy in their relationship; children may start to take drugs as little parental supervision is carried out. 

Study Limitations

Secondary research has various inbuilt limitations. First, this type of data collection method purely relies on the work of others. Mostly, it has been observed that the findings based on the secondary sources are comparatively less reliable than the findings collected through the primary research. Additionally, there is no way to prove or disapprove the collected findings; this means there is no neutral and impartial authority authenticating or disapproving the findings collected from such source. Also, it is possible that some authors may be biased against certain findings or organizations or aspects. Under this situation, it is and it will be very difficult to detect and highlight bias and its subsequent negative effect on the findings provided by the secondary source. 

Small sample size does not provide authentic and reliable findings. In this paper, only three articles from the Independent newspaper have been collected and used. Subsequently, the main themes from the articles have been used for further analysis in the paper. Based on this, it is logical to indicate that the mentioned findings may not sufficient and enough to highlight the magnitude of the problem.

Are there any benefits relating to the usage of the smartphone for children? This topic should be researched because various psychologists have divergent opinions about this issue. Keeping in view the severity of this issue, it is vital to evaluate their perspective so as to reach out the most practical conclusion relating to this topic. 


Parents should more be involved with their children. It is their prime responsibility to look after their children. For this, they need to spend time with their children in which they talk about demerits of excessively using the smartphone. Similarly, they should also highlight the importance of social interaction and social life in which they learn more things than using the smartphone. Within this context, it is necessary to mention that the parents in coordination with academic staff need to develop a regular communication in which they exchange their observations relating to their cognitive developments and different issues affecting directly to their children. 

Deadlines from 1 hour
Get A+ help
with any paper

Did you like this sample?
  1. Blair, O. (2017). “Child smartphone and tablet usage linked to speech delays in toddlers, find researchers”. Independent. Viewed: 30 July, 2017.
  2. Forster, K. (2017). “Children as young as 13 attending ‘smartphone rehab’ as concerns grow over screen time”. Independent. Viewed 30 July, 2017.
  3. Niemtus, Z., & Marsh, S. (2015). “Children and their mobiles: psychologists’ views on a modern obsession.” The Guardian. Viewed: 30 July, 2017.
  4. Pells, R. (2017). “Giving your child a smartphone is like giving them a gram of cocaine, says top addiction expert”. Independent. Viewed 30 July, 2017.
  5. Solon, O. (2016). “Does spending too much time on smartphones and tablets damage kids’ development?” Independent. Viewed 30 July, 2017.
  6. Walters, J. (2015). “Tablets and smartphones may affect social and emotional development, scientists speculate.” The Guardian. Viewed: 30 July, 2017.
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays