‘When you are no longer captivated by technology, you find your true and real self.’
We are so tech savvy these days, but something that is really prevalent is our inability to genuinely communicate at a human-to-human, face-to-face level. People you aren’t with are more important than the people you are with.
The fact is that more and more people have a cell phone including students of all ages. 78% of all teenagers now own a cell phone. They are digital natives and thus experts when it comes to technology. 47% of teens can text with their eyes closed. They are far more adept than most adults at using their cell phones for many purposes. In a society where almost everyone over the age of thirteen carries a cell phone many school systems have banned these items from school grounds. Why?
A student with a cell phone is an uninterested student, one with a short attention span. We realize that spending too much time on a cell phone prohibits us from doing something that we should be doing or something that is fun.
Cell phones are status symbols for teenagers because when their phone rings while the teacher is talking, everyone laughs; because playing video games on their cell makes them look cool; because text messaging their friend in the next room is more fun than learning about something in a history lecture and so is listening to the new Black Eyed Peas track they just downloaded onto their cell.
From an educational perspective, cell phone use during classes and in other areas of the school can easily present a disruption to the educational environment on a day-to-day basis. School disruptions can come in a number of forms. Ringing cell phones can disrupt classes and distract students who should be paying attention to their lessons at hand. Text message has been used for cheating. And new cell phones with cameras could be used to take photos of exams and students changing clothes, and so on. Cell phone use also accelerates the spread of misinformation, rumors and fear.
Parents think of cell phones as a connection to their children in an emergency. But in most cases, contacting the hospital or the police would seem more urgent. And parents can always call the school’s main office to reach their children.
Schools make rules to facilitate a quality education in a respectful and safe environment. Cell phones are a distraction in classrooms and have no place there. Universities must adapt the expectations of this generation, by making classes more interactive and limiting the amount of time students are expected to focus on any one speaker or task so that don’t find the need of using cell phones at all.