Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your daughter or son and they are just stuck behind the bright screen of their mobile phone, texting their friends, or scrolling through Instagram? Almost half of the mobile phone users say that they “couldn’t live without” their phone. Many teens across the world feel like they are addicted to their mobile phones and a new study in the journal Child Development shows night-time usage of a mobile phone can increase anxiety and depression in teenagers and reduce self-esteem. A recent study found seventy-two percent of teens feel as though they need to immediately respond to notifications from their phone, and fifty-nine percent of parents feel their teens are addicted to their mobile devices.
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Teenagers’ late-night mobile phone use is harming their sleep. According to the Harvard study, reading a screen before sleeping will cause you to feel sleepier when you wake up in the morning. Those who read from a screen before bed reported taking hours longer to fully “wake up” the next day, compared to those who read a printed book instead. This results in not having full energy to work in school and not paying attention because you are so tired. Ninety-five percent of the population uses their phone right before going to bed. At night, our brains need time to wind down to prepare for sleep. We must separate our daytime from nighttime to prepare our bodies for a good night’s sleep. When we use our phones too close to bedtime, it keeps our minds engaged. A curfew on mobile phones for teenagers would have a really big impact on teen’s sleep which will also help them have energy for the day.
Another disadvantage on why mobile phones should be banned at school is that it will make pupils and teens focus more on their schoolwork. A recent study by the London School of Economics found that in schools where mobiles were banned, the test scores of sixteen-year-olds improved by 6% – the equivalent of adding five days to the school year, economists reckon. If teachers ban the use of mobile phones in school it will help pupils focus on learning and they will not be distracted by their phones.
A third disadvantage of the use of mobile phones is that too much mobile phone use may not be the cause of depression or anxiety, but it may be a symptom. People addicted to using their mobile phones probably feel obliged to check it and become stressed when this is not possible, which feeds into mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Mobile phones have increased teenager’s depression and depressed moods and also their self-esteem. However, now a study of almost 91,000 people has found that scrolling through your Instagram and Twitter feeds from the comfort of your pillow increases developing several psychological problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Mobile phones and social media is causing thousands and thousands of teenagers to compare themselves to others which then leads them to have anxiety, depression, and even eating disorders.
Lastly, the mobile phone use of teenagers is now affecting their development. There are many side effects from using your mobile phones such as blurred vision, brain cancer risk, sleep disorders, and neck and back pain. In America a study took place, the researchers took brain scans of nineteen young people diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction and compared them to nineteen healthy controls. Twelve of the addicted participants received nine weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy. A curfew on the use of mobile phones for teens can really impact their day-to-day lives and their health.
Even though mobile phones have many bad points to them, there are also many good points. Mobile phones are an easy way to keep in contact with family members and friends. If there was ever an emergency having a mobile phone can allow teens to tell people they need help. Mobile phones are an easy way to let parents know where their children are and that they can keep in contact anytime.
To conclude, I personally feel that setting a curfew for teens would have a really big impact on many children’s lives, school life, and their health. Mobile phones have many downsides to them such as lack of sleep, affecting schoolwork, developing depression and anxiety, and also affecting teenager’s development. We can make these issues stop by restrictions and curfews so teenagers can live healthy life.