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Phone addiction at PHS

Phone addiction at PHS

How often are you on your phone? Do you find it difficult to put it down? Do you find yourself becoming lazier because of phone usage? Well, the good news is that these are common issues that affect almost every student at Pasco High School. While phones can be tools that help us, they can also become distractions that work against us. Carrying a phone means having to have a sense of self-control, a thing that most students do not have. Phone addiction is both a real and serious issue that many students are unknowingly battling with on a daily basis.  

Phones are a huge distraction in class. Most students in class prefer to be on their phones than do work or listen to the teacher. This habit has been shown to be one of the main reasons why students fail classes and develop bad grades. An article on Very Well Family said, “A new study found that college students also are spending more class time than ever using their smartphones and other devices. In fact, the study found that students check their phones and other devices more than 11 times a day on average. And, it is not just a quick glance to see if someone is trying to reach them. Instead, they are spending up to 20% of their classroom time texting, emailing, surfing the web, checking social media, and even playing games. Students spend almost the majority of class time on their phones, affecting their ability to do the work given to them. Another article on Harvard.edu said, “The existing studies provide evidence that allowing phones in the classroom negatively impacts test scores and long-term learning retention. There are some correlational studies that suggest negative relationships between off-task device use and student achievement”. Using your phone in class can lead to several bad outcomes such as bad grades and even failed classes, so if you can it’s best to just put it away at least until you have finished your work for the day. 

One of the biggest issues phones bring to the table is AirPods. An article on thetorchjfk.com said, “airpods can be distracting to students who need to focus on school assignments, and listen to the teachers for instructions in a class”. While airpods can have benefits such as helping students focus on work, they often end up just distracting students from the work. An effect of this can be procrastination in schoolwork. An article on Trojan Tribune said that, “it can also lead to that specific student becoming distracted by the music and begin to lose focus while working which can later delay its completion”. Airpods have a huge chance of becoming a distraction to certain students who can’t focus while having music blasting in their ear. So, if your one of these students, just try to put the airpods away until you’ve done what you needed to do for that day.  

Another issue is students’ inability to focus on the classroom. Phones are causing students to have short attention spans and because of that students are retaining less information taught by teachers. An article by Educaton weekly said “The constant stimulation from mobile devices has taken a toll on students’ attention spans, educators say. More than half of educators surveyed, 55 percent, said they ‘completely agreed’ that the amount of time students spend on devices meant they had shorter attention spans than their classmates when they were in school. Another 32 percent ‘partly agreed’ with that statement. Just 8 percent said they ‘partly’ or ‘completely disagreed’.” Teachers everywhere are noticing the obviously growing issue with students shortening attention spans affecting their work. Phones have also stolen the attention of students causing them to fall behind. The article also said “What’s more, cellular technology makes it easier for students to avoid focusing on their work in class, the survey found. More than half of educators–56 percent–said that students are too often off-task on their mobile devices, using the technology for one thing when they are supposed to be focusing on another. And a majority of educators, also 56 percent, said that when students are off- task, they are most likely playing digital games. About another quarter said students are listening to or watching videos or on social media when they are off-task.” It’s clear phones are not only affecting students with their school work but also their minds as well and that can become difficult to deal with later on in life when students get jobs. 

Mental illness has been growing a lot in recent years with the youth. There are many cases where bad mental health can lead directly back to phone use. An article on Butler hospital said, “A study among teenagers on ‘Do cell phones cause anxiety and depression?’ revealed that smartphones contributed to increased depression rates. This study showed that teenagers who were constantly on their phones were less happy than those who took part in non-screen activities.” Too much phone time can mess with your head and cause long-term issues such as depression and anxiety. An excessive amount of phone time can leave other issues as well. An article on Therapybrands.com said, “From poor sleep quality to heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, smartphone addiction can take a huge toll.” All students should take some time off their phones and try doing something that doesn’t require looking at a screen. 

To see how addicted Pasco High students were to their phones, I ran a poll by asking 8 students 3 questions. The first question I asked was, “In your last period, were you on your phone for at least half the class time?” Seven said yes and 1 said no. The one person who said no explained that she was busy talking to her friends. The second question I asked was, “How often you use airpods?” Six said every class and 2 said never because they don’t own airpods. The third question I asked was, “Have you experienced any extreme amounts of stress caused directly by something on your phone, not friends, family, or even something school-related just something on the internet that affected your day?” All 8 said yes. Everyone faces stressful situations in life, but your phone and the internet are something that can be controlled and shouldn’t have a huge hold on you.   

Phone addiction is a huge problem. It affects students’ ability to get good grades and pass classes. With distractions like airpods, completing work becomes difficult as well. Really what this all comes down to is self-control. Most students don’t know yet how to put their phone down and complete their work or do something that needs to be done.  

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