Cell phones have transformed from a means of communication to a consequential form of distraction that have shown to negatively impact students’ academics. People are addicted to their phones, the youth in society in particular. Studies have shown that cell phones have “been linked to lower quality of sleep and lower GPA” (Kamenetz) for students. I can concur that insufficient sleep is related to extensive cell phone use as I have used my phone late into the night on countless occasions, usually on social media or just texting. They are a distraction both in and out of class and if this trend continues to go unaddressed, conditions will only worsen.
Doug Duncan, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, is part of group at the university that is “applying learning research to improve teaching in science and engineering fields.” Around 75 percent of undergraduates at the university are “reported [to be] texting while in class” which has been associated with a drop in half a letter grade. Duncan has attempted to improve his students’ attention during class by offering participation points for turning off cell phones and leaving them on his desk (Kamenetz). This experiment accounted for a better engaged class, though students should not be rewarded for paying attention as they should already be focused during class.
Research psychologist and professor emeritus at California State University,Larry Rosen, found that “students' heart rate and other vital signs spike when they hear their phones ring and can't answer them.” Duncan’s approach may only create more anxiety in students. Rosen instead opts to use “tech breaks” where students may access their phones for one minute every 15 minutes and he continues to lengthen the intervals so as to gradually desensitize his students’ addiction (Kamenetz).
Cell phones have also created for a condition known as “text neck” caused from peering down at a phone. When a person looks down at his phone, his head lays downward at an angle steeper than the usual zero degrees where the head weighs around 12 pounds. The steeper the angle, the heavier one’s head becomes. Poor posture develops from the stance and can lead to issues with one’s spine, severe cases needing surgery. Other health issues resulting from “text neck” include “reduced lung capacity by as much as 30 percent,” “headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease” (Bever).
Students and society in general cannot rely on others to solve their cell phone use problem but instead must take initiative in their own lives to treat their addiction. Simple ways to use your phone less are to turn it off or put it in your bag so that you aren't tempted to look at who texted you or what other people are posting on social media. Don't keep it on your desk or in your pocket in class as you well be more inclined to look at your phone rather than pay attention to the lesson. Also, limit your time on social media as well as it is common to lose track of time while scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. Cell phones are useful but too extensive use of them are disadvantageous to students' studies and health.
To read more visit [https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-becoming-an-epidemic-and-could-wreck-your-spine/] or [http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/10/453986816/how-to-get-students-to-stop-using-their-cellphones-in-class].