Cell Phones at School

Megan Sternberg, Staff Writer

92% of Americans own cell phones. Imagine how much time we all spend looking at phone screen,s which constantly flash us with notifications and text messages and emails. According to an article on mobilestatistics.com, the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. That adds up to 23 days in one year and approximately 3.9 years of your own life. I believe people, especially students, spend an unnecessarily large amount of time on their cell phones.

Copious amounts of cell phone use fractures education. Being a high school student, I notice the large amount of students that use their phones during class time and while they do their homework. An article called “The Student Cellphone Addiction is no Joke” by Steve Gardiner, is written by a school teacher who says that the “ability to multitask with a cellphone is an illusion. With a phone in front of them, students’ thinking is fragmented, as is all their work.” Many of us think that we can do everything while using a cell phone, from talking to our friends and family to driving a car. Unfortunately, this is not at all true. However, some teachers, as well as I, believe that there are some “applications that work exceptionally well in most school subject areas and make the cell phone a good learning tool” (Gardiner). Even though there are some aspects to cell phones that are helpful to students, most of the activities us students decide to take part in on our phones during class are not school related.

The increase of cell phone use in the classroom is only half of the problem. Cell phones distract us from real life and distract us from each other. If you walk in the hallways of a high school, a majority of the people walking have their heads down with their phones in their faces. We all have the same excuses for it too: “I have to text my mom back.” “I have to tell my friend something.” I do it too; I’m just like everyone else. However, I feel like our phones serve as a huge distraction. I hear adults say all the time that the younger generations spend too much time looking at their phones rather than speaking to each other. We use our phones to distract us from something that is troubling us or sometimes we just need a mindless game to play. However, building bonds with the people around you beats Instagram any day.

My final point is that students have become too reliant on their cell phones. If you’ve ever encountered someone who has lost their phone, they more than likely break into a panic. We all have an intense attachment to our cell phones that we cannot seem to break. An article called “Cellular Telephones: Have cellular telephones had a positive influence on modern society?” written by the website Facts on File gives this statistic: “Among tweens, the most common media activities are watching TV and listening to music… the activities are the same, though music edges out the television… playing mobile and video games, plus watching online videos, round up the top five activities.” A poll taken at Wayne Valley High School, in which students of all high school grade levels participated in, asked students what they spend the most time doing on their phones. The most popular answers were social media, like Snapchat and Instagram, and entertainment, like Netflix and Youtube. In the article that was previously quoted, “The Student Cellphone Addiction is no Joke”, Gardiner describes cell phones as the “modern day security blanket.” I completely agree with this statement. I feel that we, as a society, rely too much on our cell phones for everyday use. I recently gave up my phone for three days, I had my mother take it away and keep it hidden for those three days. For those three days, I felt worry free. I felt like I had one less thing to worry about, one less object I need to patrol. Although, I have to admit, I did miss my music. I challenge today’s students to give up their phones for one week and to try and see how much more in tact you will be with the world if we put down our cell phones.