Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Cell phones, they’re everywhere in today’s world. It’s very unlikely that you’ll see an adult without one, or even a child. As time goes on, more and more uses of cell phones become prevalent in life. Phones are used at work, at school, in universities, basically everywhere. Some people are completely against cell phones and the constant need to have them in our daily lives. Others can’t live without having their phone by their side and wouldn’t have it any other way. Although cell phones may be harmful in how it affects a person’s health, ultimately cell phones are very useful when it comes to staying connected with friends or business partners and for learning useful information.

One of the biggest reasons people are against the use of cell phones is because of the health risks that come with it. Lai Lei Lou and Zheng Yan said “People have been concerned about whether the radio frequency waves emitted by cell phones would bring adverse effects to human health, especially brain cancers” (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2011). Cell phone use is considered to have a higher risk of absorbing RF-EMF than other electronic devices because of how close people hold their phones to their faces when they are using them. Research has recently shown a connection between the long-term use of cell phones and brain tumors. Lai Lei Lou and Zheng Yan stated, “…Extensive evidence exists indicating that long-term or high-frequent cell phone use is associated with glioma.” They also stated, “..strong evidence indicates that frequent phone use (e.g., 20 min/day) or heavy cellphone use (e.g., cct 1640 hours), especially among heavy ipsilateral phone users have higher risks of developing acoustic neuroma.” (Lai Lei Lou and Zheng Yan) After all of the research that has been conducted around this topic, nobody is really sure about the connection between cell phone usage and brain tumors. Evidence suggests both significant and insignificant findings. 

Another negative effect of cell phone usage is less personal communication. Having a phone has limited people’s personal interactions with each other. People meet up to hang out and don’t even end up talking to each other. They are both scrolling on their phones, not paying any attention to each other. Cell phones also give children access to talking to strangers on many different platforms, which puts their safety at risk without them really understanding. 

Even though cell phones can keep you disconnected from people in person, it can also keep you connected when you’re not together. Facetime, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and many other social apps keep us all connected and aware of what’s going on around us! Some family and friends live hours away from each other, and cell phones keep them connected and in contact with each other. Andrew Leppa, Jacob E. Barkleyb, and Jian Li stated, “Today’s cellular telephone (i.e., smartphone, mobile phone; henceforth, cell phone) provides an increasing array of entertainment options which have overshadowed the traditional function of ‘making a phone call’.” (Lepp, A., Barkley, J. E. and Li, J.)  People also use cell phones for entertainment and leisure. Many activities that both kids and young adults take part of are stress relievers. Andrew Leppa, Jacob E. Barkleyb, and Jian Li stated, “Cell phone research is limited within the realm of ‘leisure studies.’ Lin, Chen, and Kuo (2011) investigated motivations for game playing on cell phones. Results suggest that ease of use, the expectation of enjoyment, and peer influence are primary determinants.” (Lepp, A., Barkley, J. E. and Li, J.) Cell phones are very useful stress relievers.

Cell phones are used all throughout schools, universities, and many different workplaces. Schools use cell phones when doing review games, research, homework, and so much more. This not only makes projects and schoolwork easier for the students, but also for the teachers. In universities, phones are usually used the same way. Also, during this pandemic, phones are very helpful in receiving notifications about upcoming events or work that is due. This also makes communication with professors or teachers easier on the students. Research was conducted at a college, asking university students their views on the use of cell phones at school. Anastasia D. Elder, the writer of the article about these college students, stated, “Descriptive results indicated that there is an acceptance of use in class; students’ beliefs were neutral about whether they felt distracted or if time spent using devices affected their study time. Experimental results failed to indicate any difference in quiz scores between those using devices while listening to a lecture and those who did not.” (Elder) Many different schools allow the use of cell phones in their students’ daily lives.

In conclusion, cell phones have their ups and downs for sure. They can be harmful to the user’s health, and their interactions between people. Many believe having a cell phone with you at all times can make you lazy. I believe that self phones are more helpful than harmful, and are very useful in today’s world. Not only can they help you keep in touch with other people, but they are very beneficial with schoolwork or with your job.



Elder, Anastasia D. “College students’ cell phone use, beliefs, and effects on their learning.” College Student Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, 2013, p. 585+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 11 Oct. 2020.

Lepp, A., Barkley, J. E. and Li, J. (2017) ‘Motivations and Experiential Outcomes Associated with Leisure Time Cell Phone Use: Results from Two Independent Studies’, Leisure Sciences, 39(2), pp. 144–162. Accessed 11 Oct. 2020.

Lou, Lai Lei, and Zheng Yan. “Cell Phone Use Leads to Brain Tumors.” International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, vol. 2, no. 3, 2012. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 11 Oct. 2020.

Megan Russell

Winthrop '24

19 years old, Mental Health Advocate, future educator!
Winthrop University is a small, liberal arts college in Rock Hill, SC.