Undergraduate Anthropology Reflective Report Sample

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Introduction / Background

Anthropology mainly studies how humans behave and interact with other humans in the inner and outer interactive world. Through comprehensive interaction with the entities and things in the world, people understand their surroundings, which helps them communicate and behave accordingly. Similarly, anthropology holds a concept of studying human relationships with some material objects around them, which have some individual meanings to them and the underlying culture.

Many psychological or anthropological concepts can be assessed by understanding the relationship of material objects with human beings and by assessing the role these materialistic things play in their lives. It is also a fact that material objects present in one’s life can be bought or gifted by someone, but their impact is the same o the person’s life which is either negative, positive or in between.

This reflective report aims to build on the personal relationship between humans and specific material and study how the selected material impacts a particular life by formulating or symbolizing diverse meanings. The selected material object for this reflective report is ‘Smart Phone’. Secondly, this report will discuss the functions, expectations and interventions linked with how a particular material object came into my life and assess my personal experiences with the help of academic literature. The last part will cover the impact of smartphones on me as an individual and how this particular object has shaped my personality since the beginning of my smartphone ownership.


It was my 18th birthday almost ten years ago, and I was very excited because I witnessed my grand birthday party at my place. My parents were happier than me as they decided to surprise me with a fantastic gift which I had been asking them for almost two to three years and they were refusing because according to them I was not old enough to have that gadget.

Finally, on my 18th birthday, when I was unboxing all the gifts, I came across one from my mom and dad. That was a smartphone, and I was too happy to get that. I thanked my parents and promised them to use it gently and mindfully. One day later, my father sat near me and told me how I was supposed to use my phone so that I would not compromise on my studies, relationships and other essential things. According to him, a smartphone is just a digital device or gadget invented to provide ease to people so that they can communicate worldwide and other things like SMS and the internet.

Moreover, I understood from the entire communication between my father and me that I was not supposed to be a slave of my phone. Instead, I have to make it my slave. By this, he meant that I am not supposed to depend too much on my smartphone; whenever I get bored or find time, I use it. But, contrary to this, I should always use it in my scheduled time for this and should not touch it otherwise.

This thing helped me a lot to understand my relationship with my smartphone. Firstly, as this was a gift, I was more than happy because I would now be playing games, watching videos and talking to my friends. But, thanks to the indication my parents gave me, I could make myself independent of the smartphone. I learned to use it only when I need it or when I have to spend time specified for it in my timetable.

Furthermore, my relationship with a smartphone has evolved with time. Whenever I talk to someone, I don’t have to worry because my phone has enhanced the flexibility of social interaction and made it convenient for everyone to use this as a communication tool. Smartphones have broken place limitations and formal time, which has made everyone more accessible to communicate with each other and make mutual relationships stronger ( Duke et al., 2017).

It is evident that ‘ Things create people as much as people make them’ ( Tilley, 1999), meaning that material objects are designed and developed by people but are developed to control people themselves. The same is the case of the smartphone, which is a very near gift to me, but it has shaped me and changed my personality traits.

Firstly, my smartphone symbolizes that I am a person who uses it in case of a need and does not overuse it or waste time. Also, all my friends and family know that whenever they contact me on my phone through any social media application or network, I will answer them at any cost until I am busy somewhere. This has become my identity because I am not among people who keep their phones silent, do not respond to calls or messages from their contacts, and apologize for not being available later.

I learnt this from my father when he told me to make authentic use of my smartphone and don’t disappoint anyone who wants to talk to me for any cause. My smartphone has impacted me a lot as a person. As evidenced by Harkin et al., 2021, the individual’s sense of loneliness is enhanced, and the level of trust people used to have in each other decreases with the popularity of mobile phones. Also, if the usage of smartphone is low, the mutual interaction help in fostering connectedness, closeness, interpersonal trust and perceptions of empathy, which are the significant building blocks of relationships.

Therefore, the in-person smartphone has changed me so that I feel disconnected from the outer world sometimes when I find it challenging to communicate interpersonally. Also, I have recently observed that my level of patience has decreased. This is because the smartphone has allowed everyone to interact immediately with the person on the other end of the globe.

This has decreased the patience and trust within people because they want a quick response from the other party, which is impossible every time ( Sutisna et al., 2020). In-person and being an owner of a smartphone for ten years now, I believe that this digital device has made most of my life easy but has enhanced the hustle because of the increased expectations of people around me who want to interact with me socially.

Furthermore, in terms of my relationship reinforced by the smartphone with its giver, I can confidently claim that it has become stronger than before. Whenever I am out and want to know about my parents and how they have been doing, I never find it difficult to call them and talk to them. With the strength of communication between my parents and me, our relationship has become stronger.

Regarding the impact of the smartphone on my personality, I can confidently say that my phone has made me organized. According to Albert et al., 2019, multitasking has become the norm of modern life, making it quite challenging to keep track of everything. These issues can be solved if people keep digital devices in their pockets or bags. In my case, I found some beneficial applications on my smartphone, which helped me a lot to manage things and stay organized. I stopped keeping diaries and journals in my bag, which used to occupy much space.

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Moreover, I started using a calendar to mark events and memorable days of my loved ones. My relationship with the smartphone increased when I found that I could now perform major household chores directly from my phone. Due to rapid technological advancements, peoples’ lives have become relatively more straightforward. They do not have to wait in long queues to pay their utility bills or stress about booking a travelling ticket from a particular travel agency ( Montag et al., 2021). I am very thankful for this technological advancement, and I can relate to it from a major incident in my life. Once, I found my father simultaneously had a high fever and severe headache. This was when I got back from college, and I had no option but to take my father to the hospital as my mom was away. I tried to book an appointment with a well-known doctor in the town from my smartphone using an application. The ambulance arrived within the next fifteen minutes, and I was very thankful to my smartphone that day for existing and to my father, too, as he gifted me this useful digital device.


From the above discussion, it can be evaluated that every material object used in everyday life adds value by emphasizing the imperative extent of agency over people’s experiences, thoughts and actions. I can conclude that smartphone has made my life very easy and brought my relationships near to me while taking some of them away. I have understood how to stay independent and not rely totally upon my smartphone for everything.


Albert, G. and Lotan, T., 2019. Exploring the impact of” soft blocking” on smartphone usage of young drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 125, pp.56-62.

Duke, É. and Montag, C., 2017. Smartphone addiction, daily interruptions and self-reported productivity. Addictive behaviours reports, 6, pp.90-95.

Harkin, L.J. and Kuss, D., 2021. “My smartphone is an extension of myself”: A holistic qualitative exploration of smartphone use’s impact. Psychology of Popular Media, 10(1), p.28.

Montag, C., Wegmann, E., Sariyska, R., Demetrovics, Z. and Brand, M., 2021. How to overcome taxonomical problems in the study of Internet use disorders and what to do with “smartphone addiction”?. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 9(4), pp.908-914.

Sutisna, D., Widodo, A., Nursaptini, N., Umar, U., Sobri, M. and Indraswati, D., 2020, August. An analysis of the use of smartphone in students’ interaction at senior high school. In 1st Annual Conference on Education and Social Sciences (ACCESS 2019) (pp. 221-224). Atlantis Press.

Tilley, C. and Cameron–Daum, K., 2017. An anthropology of landscape (p. 346). UCL Press.

Frequently Asked Questions

To prepare an undergraduate reflective report:

  1. Describe the experience or task.
  2. Analyze thoughts and feelings.
  3. Evaluate learning outcomes.
  4. Connect with relevant theories.
  5. Outline personal growth.
  6. Conclude with insights gained.