Everything is better in moderation, even mobile devices

By Katelynn Ngo

Our phones are a central part of a lot of our lives: so much so that sometimes we feel our phones vibrate in our pockets even when they aren’t there. This phenomenon is known as the Phantom Vibration Syndrome, and scientists speculate that it is caused by too much cell phone usage.

I’ll admit, I have struggled with cell phone usage in class in the past. Most of us have. It’s something that isn’t just a problem with high school students, either.

According to The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning from Harvard University, college students in class check their phones on an average of 11 times a day, and 92% of college students use their phones to send texts during class.

Apps like Instagram are common distractions for studying students. Photo by Katelynn Ngo

I know I shouldn’t use my phone during class, but it’s like there’s something preventing me from not checking my phone every 30 minutes. I’m not going to deny that teachers have a good reason for prohibiting cell phone usage in classes, because I agree with some of the points they make. Using your cell phone in class does create a loss of focus on the material being taught in the classroom, which will ultimately impact how well you do on quizzes or tests in the future.

In fact, it seems that most students are aware of the fact that cell phone usage does actually distract them in class.

According to one survey from Science Direct, 80% of students agreed that using a cell phone in class makes it harder to pay attention to the teacher.“

But, despite the constant distractions cell phones create, cell phones, and the internet, can act as a powerful learning tool. In this day and age, school life is organized through apps like Google Classroom and School Loop, and knowledge is expanded and developed through websites such as Khan Academy and Duolingo.

Taking into the account that cell phones do pose a threat to education, but also can improve it tremendously, there is really only one solution: moderation of cell phone use.

Moderation is the key to making sure the negative consequences of cell phone usage in class balances out with the benefits that it can provide students with.

Putting your phone in a cell phone caddy for one and a half hours isn’t going to spell the end of the world. Focus on what’s going on in class when class is in session instead of being on your phone, and you’ll find yourself easily doing better on quizzes and tests.

Now that you don’t have to waste time teaching yourself the material again, this extra time can be used on the cell phone to destress and catch up with your friends outside of class, but this time it will come stress-free.