Cell Phone Use in School

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Is it appropriate for students in middle and high school to have cell phones? Despite all the bans in place, 65 percent of teens with cell phones bring them to school, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center in 2010. It is now common for high schools to allow students to bring their cell phones to class, but they must be turned off during class to prevent disruptions and distractions.

The use of cell phones among high school students is now a thing of concern for parents and schools. According to a professional academic writing service whose essay writers have researched this topic, the ramifications of high school students having phones leave challenges and lasting effects. 

As reported in a 2020 Pew Research Center article, parents in the United States (66%) – including parents who have a child under 18 as well as those who may also have adult children and children – say parenting is harder today than 20 years ago, citing technology as a contributing factor. In this article, we’re going to show you the pros and cons of high school students taking cell phones to school. Before we start, let’s look at some statistics on cell phone use in schools.

Statistics of Cell Phone Use in School

The correlation between phone addiction and academic performance has been demonstrated in studies conducted by experts. Considering both the possibility and threat of such a development is important.

Students bring their phones to class 95% of the time, according to cell phone use statistics. Ninety-two percent use their phones to text in class, and ten percent admit to texting during exams (Tindell and Bohlander, 2012). 

According to a recent study, cell phone usage in school is hurting students’ fitness and studies. According to the data, students who spend more time on their mobile during school hours usually have an inactive life. This same study also showed evidence that proved that phones affected college students’ grades. 

A study in 2011 showed the negative effects of cell phone use in schools in the US. Students with cell phone usage in school usually tend to end with a lower grade point average (Jacobsen and Forste, 2011). 

These data are enough to cause a stir and draw the attention of people to the healthy use of technology gadgets among college students. The topic itself is a controversial one because while different cell phone research shows how they affect students’ performance, some bad performance might not be caused by cell phone usage in school. 

There is evidence that students overestimate their ability to multitask. There is a possibility that they are not paying enough attention to how they write, which will negatively impact their performance in class. Now let us weigh the pros and cons of cell phone use in school.

Pros and Cons of Cell Phone Use in School

Pros

  • You can communicate constantly with your kids and know their location. A 2010 Pew Study showed that 48% of parents monitor their children’s location using their phones. They can also be in constant communication with their kids without any restricted access.
  • Cell phones come in handy during emergencies. If an emergency occurs, the kids would be able to reach their parents and vice versa. The times we live in are dangerous and children are not safe regardless of whether they’re in a public school or a private school. There are a lot of mass shootings going on at schools and children have to live through this. We are also in the pandemic era where families and school districts live with anxiety and true health concerns regularly so all of these can be managed with a mobile phone.
  • Cell phones help kids know how to engage properly in life. Knowing how to engage with mobile phones is an important life skill. In class or during study periods, mobile phones can be silenced, and only used when necessary. Many schools now apply the policy of teaching kids how to engage with a cell phone properly. They also set etiquette for the use of mobile in class. The idea behind this policy is to give students an arena to practice self-control regarding cell phone usage in school so that they might develop those skills before adulthood.
  • Cell phones provide a convenient way to be in touch. The use of mobile phones creates a convenience that was previously unavailable. With cell phones used in school, parents can easily reach their kids for any reason: to ask them questions, to say hello, or to change plans. 

Cons

  • Mobile phones are a distraction. Due to the activity the student is doing on their phone, they may forget to turn off their phones in class and when they receive a notification alert, their learning process is disrupted causing distractions. Even if the phones are silenced, the kids can still be distracted by texting each other and social media. 
  • Cell phones can be effective bullying too and can cause a negative mental health. It is common for rumors and misinformation to spread through student cell phone networks, which can be harmful daily. Social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others can be even more distracting and be used for cyberbullying. The reason for banning cell phones is often related to this issue.

How Does Restricting Cell Phone Use in School Affect Student Social Interaction

Children’s social skills are changing as a result of smartphones and the use of social media. As technology advances, less face-to-face interaction takes place, and more communication is done from behind a screen. Through this technological connection, students can connect with other parts of the world and get exposed to other cultures, media, and beliefs. 

Today, social skill development must incorporate the understanding of virtual social cues, such as the meaning implied by gifs, emojis, and memes. It is crucial to the self-worth of a child to develop their social skills, whether in person or electronically. Engaging effectively with peers directly correlates with positive self-esteem.

However, when those kids place too much value on the number of likes and comments they receive, their brain becomes wired to double their social media posting behaviors. And if by chance their parents get to seize their phones, the loss of validation and social interaction can be detrimental to their self-worth, and feelings. These negative feelings don’t die a natural death even when their privileges are restored. So as a parent, you have to manage how your child builds their social interaction online, so they don’t become dependent on it.

At the end of the day, many families would have to decide what works best for their families. Cell phones are not going to go away and instead would advance into other smarter devices. The only way to figure it out might be through trial and error. You should increase usage and relax rules as children adapt than to outright restrict usage as you navigate the challenges associated with cell phone use in school.

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