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Cell Phone Addiction: Using in School

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Students spend way too much time on their phones causing them to be disconnected from the world. Cell phone addiction is raising havoc by causing students to be distracted and unable to accomplish their daily responsibilities. “On average, a student spends about 4 hours and 25 minutes on their phone” (Wein, 2019). “College students are addicted to their cell phones which is detrimental to their lives in many ways. “In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, nearly 50 percent of adults reported they couldn’t live without their phone” (Blue, 2019).

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College students are not paying attention to their surroundings because they are too busy using their phones. “Students neglect their schoolwork to play online games” (Best & Harris, 2013). Using your cell phone while driving is dangerous and causes students to be distracted from the main purpose of driving. It can also lead to the “increased risk of serious injury or death for the driver, passengers, and others in the vicinity” (Best & Harris, 2013). Cell phone use is harmful and affects students physical and emotional wellbeing. “According to Dr. Seo, participants who were proven to be addicted to their phones were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, insomnia, and impulsivity” (Guerra, 2017). Being addicted to your cell phone can negatively impact a student’s life and there are many signs to determine whether you are addicted or not.

Students’ physical and emotional wellbeing are being harmed by cell phone over use. A study was done on two groups in which 19 students were addicted to their phones and 19 who were not. It was found in this study that there were higher levels of GABA among the students suffering from cell phone addiction. When GABA levels slow down the neurons, the students are less focused and are more easily distracted. “Altogether, this means that if you are too dependent on your smartphone, you are basically damaging your ability to be attentive” (LaMotte, 2017). The overuse of cell phones among college students could possibly be compared to drug addiction. “Studies suggest that we are becomingly increasingly distracted, spending less time in the real world and being drawn more deeply into the virtual world” (Bhattacharjee, 2019).

Cell phone addiction can negatively impact your brain. Students who engage in excessive media multitasking have decreased cognitive control because they have smaller gray matter density. “A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that college students from this decade are 40 percent less empathetic than college students were 30 years ago” (Catron, 2018). This extreme change in empathy contributes to the increased time spent on media and social media. The pressure on your spine from always looking down at your phone causes stress on your neck, which is known as tech neck. The pressure on the occipital nerves at the base of the neck can result in serious headaches. Another medical condition to be aware of is damage to the ulnar nerve. “Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which the ulnar nerve in the elbow becomes compressed” (Davis, 2017). Symptoms include tingling and numbness in your hands. “You may develop this condition if you lean on your elbows while texting or you bend your elbows while holding your phone to your ear” (Davis, 2017).

Cell phone addiction can lead to loneliness and may cause depression. “As per Peplau and Perlman (1982) the three important points in loneliness are it results from deficiencies in person’s social relationships, it is a subjective experience, and it is not the same as social isolation” (Pathak & Mhaske, 2017). Being addicted to your phone can cause major social anxiety. “Despite being the thing that keeps you connected to your entire circle of friends, your phone could be causing you social anxiety” (Catron, 2019). This anxiety can result in the need to respond immediately to all notifications taking away the time needed for life’s responsibilities. This addiction can also cause depression, which leads to suicide. “48 percent of those who looked at their phone for more than five hours each day had considered suicide or even made plans to kill themselves (Catron, 2018). Increased anxiety and stress may also affect your sleeping patterns. Sleeping patterns may also be affected by blue light from your smartphone screen. “Exposure to blue light after the sun goes down interferes with sleep” (Davis, 2018).

There are many signs to consider which will help you to determine if you are addicted to your cell phone. “In 2015, Yildirim created a 20-question questionnaire that measures just how attached you are to your cell phone based on your answers” (Guerra, 2017). “The questions center around cell phone usage, and how you might feel in a situation where you’re unable to use your device” (Guerra, 2017). You are addicted if you’re having withdrawals that include anger, tension, depression, irritability, or restlessness. Signs may also include feeling like you lost track of time because of constantly being on your phone.

College students could solve phone addiction by keeping themselves on a set schedule, so they get their responsibilities done first before doing anything else. “The most basic step that Rosen suggests for weaning yourself off the phone is literally setting alarms specifying how often you can check it” (D’Onfro, 2018). This would help students get better grades because they would be staying off their phone and actually doing their homework. Another solution would be to “Download an application to help cut down on cell phone use” (D’Onfro, 2018). There are many tricks to overcome cell phone addiction. “An incredibly simple way to cut down on distractions is to turn off push notifications for as many apps as you can” (D’Onfro, 2018).

Even though cell phone usage can be harmful, some college students may believe that using your phone can be helpful in many ways. Cell phones are used as a study tool to help students learn in the classroom. Even though smartphones are a helpful tool in the classroom, they can also be a distraction. Many college students miss important facts and knowledge being presented by the instructor because they are distracted by their smartphone. Cell phone GPS capability helps students navigate wherever they need to go. People can no longer find their way around because they are too dependent on using their smart phone for GPS. It could be a problem for students if their phone brakes or their battery dies. In an emergency situation, your cell phone can be used to call 911. If you’re in a dangerous situation, your cell phone notifications could go off and alert the attacker of your whereabouts.

College students are known to overuse their cell phones. Cell phone addiction among college students causes them to not pay attention to their surroundings. Because cell phones are very addictive among college students, it is interfering with their social life and daily responsibilities. Most importantly, the most serious issue of cell phone addiction is the danger of your physical wellbeing whether it be while you are walking or driving. It can also impact your emotional wellbeing because if a student is on their phone all the time, their friends may think that they aren’t important enough for you. Cell phone addiction has become a problem for many college students. People should be advertising more information to college students about cell phone addiction so they can be aware and know that there are solutions out there to solve the problem at hand.

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