By E. Soria

The first mobile cell phone cost $4,000, had a battery life of 30 minutes, and was the size of a foot-long sub from Subway, according to Johnson Hur.

Cell phones have come a long way and have advanced tremendously. The new and improved smartphones are equipped with all kinds of features – touch screens, on-demand cameras, GPS, and an internet connection that allows for almost never-ending access to knowledge from all around the world.

All that and more is stored in that small, compact rectangle – and it fits right in your pocket!

Smartphones are an important part of advanced technology that is used nearly every second of every day. Smartphones are great, but an increased use in this technology is showing negative effects along with the positive.

The issue is when smartphones are being used too much and used for the wrong reasons.

People are glued to their phones. In China and Hawaii, people can and are being fined for walking while at the same time using their phones. Not only are there fines, but also accommodations being made because of the increase of these ‘phone zombies’. Within Germany and China, crosswalks are being made specifically for people who are distracted on their phones.

Using phones too much leads to a disconnect with others, less productivity and an increase in procrastination.

More serious effects include the development of mental illness and suicide as there is a rise of online bullying. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there is a steady correlation between addiction to smartphone usage and depression, which was found to be in higher rates in younger adults.

Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can be found in individuals who use phones often. Suicide is a direct effect from these illnesses along with cyberbullying. A majority of teens in the U.S. have experienced some form of cyberbullying according to the Pew Research Center.

There are many cases of cyberbullying on the web all across the globe. In the U.S., a New Jersey school was sued for the suicide of a young girl bullied both in person at her school as well as online. In another school, students were being mass bullied online, which caused some to nearly commit suicide.

Phones benefit our lives in many ways, but when they are used in a wrong way, harmful effects can follow.

In order to use smartphones to the fullest, we must learn to use our phones in moderation and protect others who are being negatively affected through cyberbullying and other harmful factors.

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