A regular cell phone nowadays is a portable computer allowing its owner to solve multiple tasks anywhere, anytime. Along with this, a cell phone provides numerous entertainment options, which are especially valued by the younger generation—high school students, in particular. Whereas having a cell phone for a teenager is already seen as a must, in some situations teenagers should be required to be abstained from using their gadgets for certain periods of time, and one place where they should be abstained from is at school.
There are numerous reasons why high school students should not be allowed to use their cell phones, tablets, and other gadgets at school, not to mention during classes. One of them is a severe cell phone addiction that teenagers can develop if they overuse their devices. According to a study by Gaby Badre, in such cases, teenagers tend to experience “increased restlessness with more careless lifestyles, more consumption of stimulating beverages, difficulty in falling asleep and disruptive sleep, and more susceptibility to stress and fatigue.” They may also have headaches and, what is curious, experience phantom ringing sounds (when a person thinks his or her phone is ringing when it is not). This is what distracts teenagers during studying, and keeps them awake at night, when they should be sleeping. All this does not speak in favor of allowing teenagers the use of cell phones in high school, where they are not necessary(Teen Ink).
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Along with the health problems caused by the excessive use of cell phones, parents should be concerned about how teenagers use cell phones. It is not a secret that the adolescent subculture is strongly based on hierarchy; those who do not manage to fit in often become bullied by their more-fortunate peers. In these terms, cell phones provide limitless opportunities for what is called cyber-bullying. For example, camera phones can be secretly used almost anywhere, including private areas (such as restrooms and locker rooms), where bullies can take embarrassing photos of their victims; then, using their cell phones, bullies can spread these photos around school in no time, upload them to YouTube, or publicly humiliate their victims in some other way. This is not to mention sexual harassment (applications like SnapChat make it easy), digital revenge for broken relationships, hacking and stalking, and so on (Safe Search Kids). It is impossible to control a student outside of school, but doing this during classes is not difficult.
According to British research of cell phone policies of Birmingham, London, Leicester, and Manchester schools, their effects on students’ performance has shown that schools that banned cell phones demonstrated an increase in test scores by 6.4% for 16-year-old students. These results seem to be significant for the United States as well, since about 73% of American teenagers use cell phones (compared to 90% of British students). These gains were observed among students with the lowest achievements, and among average students these results were doubled. This shows that banning cell phones has a great impact on students’ performances, and in terms of increasing the quality of education, such measures would be beneficial (Time).
As it can be seen, cell phones, if used improperly, can negatively affect a teenager’s life in a number of ways. In particular, an adolescent can develop restlessness and anxiety (along with a cell phone addiction), which is unacceptable at such a young age. Due to the peculiarities of school life and the way teenagers interact with each other, cell phones can be used for bullying—for example, secretly taking embarrassing photos of classmates in private areas, and so on. In addition, using cell phones in schools negatively affects performance; in schools where the use of cell phones has been banned, students’ performance increased significantly. These reasons definitely speak in favor of prohibiting teenagers using cell phones in high schools.
“Safe Search Kids.” Cell Phones in School. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.
Murphy, Richard, and Louis-Philippe Beland. “The Science of Why Schools Should Ban Cell Phone Use.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.
“Why Cell Phones Should Not Be Allowed in a School Setting.” Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.