By EMMA CHANG
Let’s be frank…Do you actually need your phone by your side every second of the day?
Of course, I know this topic has been hotly discussed, overturned and considered. I am aware that there are education purposes, networking, social aspects and more to everyone’s favorite mobile device. However, teenagers’ use of cellphones has become more than excessive and disgusting almost, manifesting into a near physical and emotional addition. More than it being harmful, I think it is just plain sad.
Before I begin, I would just like to say that I am not one to make such offensive statements without first considering their validity. For one day, I paid extra attention to the students in all my classes and the environment the teacher had created; clearly both of these would play a factor in cellphone use during the school day. During that time, I do not think I ever saw an entire class paying attention to the teacher, if even, not all at once. Everyone either had AirPods in their ears, their head bent down over some game, or were on social media.
Are we serious?
Is this how poor school environments have become so that students are no longer motivated to pay attention or even display any sort of concern for their education? Sadly, yes.
In the last few years, a lot of compromise has been made over the topic of cellphones in the classroom. In fact, I would like to think most teachers are able to manage their students and create an environment where students can still learn everyday and use their phones at appropriate free times. But after looking around my own classes as a junior, it is clear this is far from the truth.
Whatever post, Tik Tok, video or text you are devoting your attention to for six whole hours a day, cannot wait until you get home? As if you will not do the same thing at home and procrastinate on important or productive tasks until the very last minute? Does some post that is not even tangible with basically no meaning truly need your undivided attention, more than your own teachers?
The fact that our own campus and many others have created such an environment is truly incredible to me. The fact that many teenage YouTubers have done “24 hours without my phone” challenges or purchased tacky cellphone cages is extremely appalling.
This is not to say it is not entirely the students’ fault. If teachers never reprimand their students or establish proper behavior in class, it is no wonder students will continue to do what they please.
Let’s be frank: We can do better.
Even more, it is not like the media that most people are fixated on are actually worth it. Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok, you name it. From what I see, students just pull their phones for the sake of doing so, just to cycle through the same unoriginal or useless content. Take a look at any teenager’s phone and what will you find? Not much, in my opinion.
Although, of course this argument would not be complete without acknowledging the various uses of cellphones and social media. Yes, it offers students an opportunity to network, be exposed to the world, keep up with current events, communicate and more. But does this truly equate to sucking up everyone’s attention for more hours than they sleep or spend in school?
Think about it. We can do better.