Cartoons on phone (ab)use

Below are 13 cartoons about how people use and abuse their phones. Click on the left or right arrows to start the slide show of cartoons and discuss your answers to the questions below as a class.


  1. How do these cartoons comment on human nature? What do they say about the way phones affect people's relationships, priorities and understanding of the world? Do you recognise the proglems that are explored in these cartoons?

  2. Get into groups (or pairs) and assign each group a different cartoon. Study the lesson on Cartoons in the text type section of this Support Site. How does your cartoon use typical features of cartoons to construct its message? How does the artist's use of stlye add meaning?

  3. How do these cartoons relate to and deepen your understanding of one or more of the seven Concepts: transformation, identity, creativity, communication, representation, perspective and culture?

  4. As a portfolio assignment, you may want to write a short Paper 1-style analysis of one of the cartoons in this slide show, or another cartoon that you find on the World Wide Web. Apply the assessment criteria for Paper 1 to your analysis.

Theory of knowledge

How do we know what is right or wrong? Ethics, as an area of knowledge, may seem to have nothing to do with smartphone behaviour. Or is there an element of ethics in your discussion on these cartoons? In what ways do these cartoons tell us what kinds of behaviour are acceptable and unacceptable?

Learner profile

An IB learner is 'social'. What does this word mean to you? How do smartphones help or hinder your ability to be social?

Last modified: Thursday, 19 March 2020, 12:47 PM