Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation Rebuttal Essay

Adisyn Coffey

San Jacinto College

English 1302


Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Rebuttal Essay

Twenge, in his article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” narrates how the overuse of smartphone has destroyed the current generation causing devastating mental and physical effects that include depression, loneliness, and loss of sleep. The author explains how depression, loneliness, and loss of sleep are all linked to one another claiming that “Smartphones could be causing lack of sleep, which leads to depression, or phones could be causing depression, which could lead to lack of sleep”(Twenge,). Twenge tries to explain that children and mostly students stay up late at night, losing sleep and even get left out of fun activities while on their smartphones which have contributed to the students becoming lonely and depressed.

However, Twenge’s claim may not have any backings as smartphones don’t always cause loneliness, depression, or sleep loss. According to research, sleep problem, loneliness, and depression are medical conditions that are caused by other factors other than the use of smartphones and to which affects even students without the possession of smartphones. Asking students to get off their phones is an overly simplistic solution to curb the effects of smartphones. In fact, the current generation is highly associated with smartphones and telling a student to get off his or her phone is what will lead to boredom and depression.

Besides, making claims that smartphone use is the leading cause of suicidal attempts for children might also not make any sense at all. A national sample of more than 13,000 students aged 13-17 years in the United States illustrated how social media made them feel. 5% of them said that social media made them feel depressed, 10% said that it made them feel less depressed while the rest said that it didn’t make a difference in one way or the other (Avidar, Ruth, et al.. 604). Considering this data, the students don’t feel depressed because of social media and smartphones, and besides, it turns out that they are made happier. For instance, after holding a smartphone, one can get to social media where they get to view interesting stories which lightens up the mood. Social media is a place where children gets to socialize and interact with other people thus through the interaction, the children make new friends thus killing the art of loneliness.

Further disputing his idea that smartphones creates a depressed generation, it is not true. Depression can be termed as a mood disorder where one experiences prolonged sadness. When depressed, one has no hope for living. Getting to use the smartphone, there is the internet where one can search how to battle depression and read stories from people who have had similar condition (Avidar, Ruth, et al.. 604). It is through the use of smartphones that children get hope that depression can be solved. Depression becomes a non-issue when one views funny videos online and gets to chart with other peers.

In conclusion, Twenge claims that the use of smartphones among students has been the contributing factor to depression, loneliness, and lack of sleep. However, this is not the case as there is no close association to back these claims. Based on research, depression, loneliness, and lack of sleep are medical conditions, and students who don’t possess smartphone are still in the risk of getting sick. According to research done on students, social media platforms make students happier. Smartphones and through the use of the internet help students solve their problems including stress. The topic is of great significance in that it helps keep the students on toes by their parents, restricting them on social media use to avoid binge-watching.

Works Cited

Avidar, Ruth, et al. “Smartphones and young publics: A new challenge for public relations practice and relationship building.” Public Relations Review 39.5 (2013): 603-605.

del Vecchio, Paolo. “The good news about preventing adolescent depression.” Prevention Science 19.1 (2018): 112-114.

Twenge, Jean M. “Have smartphones destroyed a generation.” The Atlantic 3 (2017).