Teenagers and The Over Use of Cell Phones The use of cell phones should be banned for teenagers. Similar to the legal age of purchasing alcohol and tobacco, the same law should be enforced when it comes to the use of cell phones among teenagers. Although the thought of this may sound insane to most adolescence, it maybe the solution to limiting and promoting healthy cell phone use amongst today’s youth. The following solution would also be in their best interest without them even realizing it. The over use of cell phones by teenagers will have a negative effect on their academic, social, and mental development.
Teenagers who use their cellphones very often will have their academic progress negatively affected due to being distracted. It is not a rare occurrence for teenagers to have their phones with them while they are in class, but that is mainly because many of them do not realize the impact it is having on their grades. Researchers, Christian M. End, Shaye Worthman, Mary Bridget Matthews, and Katharina Wetterau at Xavier University did a study about the impact of cell phone rings on academic performance. After completing the study they said, “Findings indicated that cell phone rings during a video presentation impaired academic performance.
Specifically, participants in the ringing condition performed worse on disrupted test items and were less likely to have recorded pertinent test information” (End, Worthman, Matthews, & Wetterau, 2010, p. 55-57). The study shows that just the ringer on a cell phone alone can have an impact on how a student takes notes. However, not everyone thinks that cell phones are a bad idea. Authors Kevin Thomas and Blanche Obannon wrote an article titled ‘Cell Phones In The Classroom: Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions’, which talks about cell phone use in the class room and how it would be beneficial to students.
Mentioning that by 2015 two-thirds of all high school students will own a device that has internet, Thomas and OBannon suggest that this can be a positive thing with the use of tools provided by cell phones for content creation, student centered learning, authentic learning, differentiation of instruction, assessment, and reflection (Thomas & Obannon, 2013). Given that cell phones can be used as a tool to better educate; it still would not be a good idea because studies prove that a ringer alone can distract a student. Also that text messages and social media cites such a Facebook and Twitter will also be a distraction away from school work.
If students were openly able to utilize their cell phones while in class this would cause a distraction and decrease in their grades. A teenager who pays more attention to their phone while in school can cause them to not be academically successful. When a teenager depends solely on communicating through their cell phone it will cause them to have a difficult time with face-to-face interactions. Many teens would prefer to send a text message or make a phone call to their friend in the next room rather than just walking over and talking to them. Not only does this encourage laziness but it also affects their social skills.
An Article in the Washington Post by Masuma Ahuja called ‘Teens are spending more time consuming social media, on mobile devices’, which talks about teens spending a long amount of time on social media and how it effects their social skills. Ahuja says, “Teens spend so much time interacting with each other on social networks and phones that they are growing less comfortable with in-person interactions and not developing essential social skills” (Ahuja, 2013). It is clear that teenagers who prefer talking on a cell phone, sending a Facebook message or sending a text message are more likely to have trouble in a social setting.
Cell phones have also made a great impact with the way families interact with one another. It causes teenagers to subconsciously disrespect their parents by using their cellphones while at the dinner table or picking up a phone call while being spoken to by their parents. An article called ‘The Cell Phone as an Agent of Social Change’ written by Abu Sadat Nurulla from the University of Alberta talks about the effect that cellphones have on the way youth interact with family and their peers.
Nurulla says that cell phones cannot solve ongoing child and parent communication issues, such as quality and flow of communication (Nurulla, p. 21). Although a teenager having a cell phone may help with keeping in touch with their parents for emergencies, but it does not otherwise benefit the relationship due. Teenagers seem to not be aware of the effect of being overly indulged with communicating on cell phones; it can seriously hinder their ability to socialize because they are use to sitting behind a phone. Teenagers over dependence and use of their cell phone can lead to depression.
Something as minor as falling asleep with their phone beside them can cause lack of sleep due to the phone going off in the middle of the night, which will cause lack of sleep and could lead to the teenager having a bad day. An article called “How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep’ in the Huffington Post talks about how mobile phones affect a good nights sleep, while making reference to a study funded by a major mobile phone maker. It says, “People exposed to major radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep” (Huffington Post, 2013).
So it is clear that cell phones can be linked to teens not sleeping well at night. Also in the Medical Post an article named ‘Cell phone use linked to teens depression’ by David Hodges talks about a study done to link the over use of cell phones by teen to depression. The study showed that compared to teens in the lower scoring group than the group of adolescence that used their phones more often had significantly higher scores in the depression inventory scale and interpersonal anxiety scale, as well as scoring low on the self-esteem scale (Hodges, 2006).
These results reflect that teenagers are very likely to suffer from depression if they continue to spend too much time in their cell phones. Depression and lack of sleep will lead to severe mental issues if not sustained at an early stage. Youth today are overly dependent on cell phones. So dependent that many of them seem to be out of touch with reality. Due to the mental, social, and academic effects of cell phones, teenagers are being sent down the wrong path. These three aspects are very important to human development as a whole.
They are more critical at the adolescent stage, where teenagers should be attempting to reach their full potential without the distraction of cell phones. A teenager should be able to sleep well in order to go to school, be attentive, and be able to socialize with their peers and teachers without the interruption of receiving a text message or a phone call. The youth of the future will be better off once they realize the joy of face to face interaction, learning, and sleeping cellphone free. It is made clear that there are mental, academic, and social side effects to teenagers who over use their cell phones.