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In today’s century, the idea of using smartphones and other forms of technology continues to grow across the nation. Adults and teenagers are using smartphone to communicate through the world wide web and through their cellular network carriers. The biggest issue that comes from the constant use smartphones is the fact that many parents can be negligent to their children. In the article, “Smartphone=not so smart parenting?” Amy Novotney explains how parents will leave their children to play by themselves while they work on their cellphone, such as answering emails, sending text messages, taking photos, etc (Novotney, 2016). This particular action by the parents demonstrates how smartphones are a distraction from the appropriate parenting methods. The article by Amy Novotney also explains that smartphone use is linked to the child’s misbehavior during meals, because children are trying to compete for their parent’s attention (Novotney, 2016). Even though smartphone use can be a distraction from parenting, smartphones allow the benefit of easy communication and the convenience of having the necessary tools to complete an activity or assignment (work emails, etc.). Throughout this paper, the pros and cons of smartphone use will be highlighted along with a breakdown of how balancing technology use and the engagement with humans can help better the style of parenting.
With this particular topic, the research strategy that was used to gather information from Novotney’s article was mainly naturalistic observation. With this particular research strategy, there are benefits and disadvantages. Naturalistic observation allows researchers to study behaviors under conditions that are less artificial than an experiment. For example, when Novotney began her article by talking about how parents will let their children play in the park while they are on their phones, she talks about how this was something she saw with her own eyes; it was a natural observation. The disadvantages to this research strategy is the lack of control that the observer has over the situation and they can come across biased, as well.
This article also used experimental research to gather its information on the topic, such as when Novotney points out the results of the experiments that were conducted when observing children’s’ behaviors. For example, when the study between caregivers and children was being conducted, caregivers were distracted about 74% of the time out of 371 two-minute recorded sessions (Novotney, 2016). The benefits of using experimental research when making observations for this topic, is that certain factors can be isolated, causing a sense of control for the experimenter. There is also an establishment of a cause and effect. For example, it is easier to draw a conclusion when there is data to pull from. When it comes to the findings in this article, it is possible that there are potential negative outcomes of smartphone use. Smartphone usage when it comes to parenting can lead to many distractions and signs of negligence. It can also lead to child misbehavior and it can contribute to undermining a person’s concentration and performance.
Smartphone usage affects the brain’s reward and pleasure center of the brain, which is located in the limbic system of the brain. The neurotransmitter that is released is called dopamine. People become so addicted to the constant use of their smartphones, this is when dopamine is released in the brain. The reward and pleasure center of the brain is the part of the brain that regulates emotions. Dopamine release is responsible for the pleasure that people feel when they are happy or doing something that makes them happy. With smartphone usage, people feel that they are able to accomplish so much by using their smartphones. People feel that they need their smartphones in order to get through their everyday life, that is why when smartphones are taken away from people they feel a sort of emptiness within themselves. This is why it can erupt to such an issue with parenting because adults can feel like they need their phones, and if they do not have it, it can contribute to how they treat/handle their children.
When it comes to parents and their children, the bond that forms between them is called attachment. The attachment theory explains how the relationship between a child and its parent can contribute and influence a child’s development. There are two types of attachment, secure and insecure. Secure attachment is when a child feels distressed when their caregiver leaves them but they are able to keep themselves composed and will do something to get their attention. For example, when a parent is holding the baby in their arms and puts them down, the baby will continuously cry to get their caregiver to come back and pick them up. Insecure attachment is when a child understands that caregiving is inconsistent and they learn not to rely on others. In the article, it talks about how parents will ignore their children and be on their smartphones while their kids play. Some children will be okay with it and get used to it, while some kids will act out, which contributes to parents using their smartphones and parents being negligent. Children will act out just to get their attention, such as throwing sand, yelling belligerently, picking fights with other children, etc.
When it comes to smartphone usage, it is very easier to become overly consumed and distracted. People easily can lose focus with what is going on in the real world. When it comes to parenting, parents need to focus on being attentive to their children. They must be able to find an equal balance between smartphone use and their parenting style.
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